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My latest thoughts on Tropical Storm Erika

10 AM ‪#‎Erika‬ Update:
Winds: 45 mph
Moving: W @ 16 mph
Pressure: 1006 mb
Storm remains unorganized & weak

Erika is not well organized at this time as it is in an unfavorable environment for development thanks to dry and and moderate to strong wind shear. Some storms did develop overnight, but they are still to the south and east of the center of circulation. At this time, the center is exposed and the system remains weak. Hurricane Hunters do not indicate any strengthening from their recent flight. The center has apparently reformed farther to the south of previously thought, so the forecast track from NHC had to be adjusted. 
For the next few days, Erika is forecast to move WNW to the south of a mid-level subtropical ridge. By the weekend as the tropical cyclone nears the western edge of the ridge, it is expected to turn to the NW and NNW. However, there is uncertainty as to how quickly and how sharp this turn will will be. The future forecast track of Erika also depends on its intensity. If Erika is a weaker system, then it is likely to move more to the west across the Caribbean. If it is a stronger storm, then it will track more to the east or north.
The forecast models are in agreement for the next 24-48 hours that Erika will remain weak and will track to the WNW across Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The NHC is then forecasting for Erika to get stronger and turn more to the north off the East Coast of Florida. It is also worth noting that some of the models want to significantly strengthen Erika this weekend over the Bahamas and have hinted that it could become a Cat. 2+ hurricane off the East Coast of Florida by early next week. 
Due to the uncertainties, it is too early to say if Erika will make it into the Gulf of Mexico. However, most trends as of now say that it will not, but we can't rely on that. Please stay tuned to my updates for more info and watch WWL-TV for my updates too. -Dave


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