Tropical Storm Erika May Target Florida
Tropical Storm Erika is currently disorganized, with inconsistent convection and an exposed center of circulation. The official forecast is for Erika to change little in strength on a track near the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico. Erika could strengthen into a hurricane near the Bahamas by Sunday.
Forecast models are in reasonable agreement with this track through Saturday, then diverge beyond. However, there are extreme differences in how strong Erika could be at this point.
First, Erika has to survive its present struggle. If it doesn't, it will likely dissipate in the Caribbean. If it survives, a weaker storm would move more westward, or a stronger storm would move northward.
Matthew Moreland is Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service in Key West.
"There's more uncertainty than normal with the forecast, not only the track forecast because, these types of systems sometimes, they get recentered," he says, "so the track forecast is very uncertain but also the intensity forecast. It does look like conditions become favorable for intensification as it gets toward the Bahamas, but there's a large spread in the models right now."
WUSF and Florida Public Radio Emergency Network will update this map as Erika draws nearer to Florida.