Its basically over 700 miles east of the Leeward Islands. If it stays traveling at its present speed, the center of Erika will approach the Leeward Islands Wednesday night or early Thursday.
Here's the latest:
- Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center.
- A recon plane will be out today to check it out.
- The Bahamas, and South Florida should keep their eyes on Erika, as the models show it could be a hurricane as it nears us by early next week.
Watches and warnings have been issued for many of islands of the Lesser Antilles:
The Meteorological Service of St. Maarten has issued a tropical storm watch for St. Maarten.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* St. Kitts and Nevis
* St. Eustatius
* St. Maarten
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
This is the forecast cone for Erika. Remember Intensity forecast is the most difficult.
This is from NHC explaining what may happen next:
Erika will be moving over warming SSTs with light to moderate shear
for the next 36 to 48 hours, and the NHC forecast shows steady
intensification during this time. After that, Erika could encounter
increasing westerly shear due to interaction with an upper-level low
near Hispaniola and there is the potential for land interaction with
the Greater Antilles. The HWRF and LGEM models show more
strengthening during this time, while the GFDL and SHIPS models are
less aggressive. There is also disagreement among the global models.
The GFS weakens Erika to a trough by 5 days while the ECMWF has
trended stronger and the UKMET continues to show a more robust
cyclone. The NHC intensity forecast has been adjusted upward a bit
at days 4 and 5 and is close to or a bit below the IVCN intensity
consensus. Due to the large spread in the guidance, the intensity
forecast at days 3-5 is of even lower confidence than usual.