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Erika Fizzles, But Be Ready For The Rain

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Florida Public Radio Emergency Network
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Good news this morning regarding tropical storm Erika. It is no longer a tropical storm.

But residents in the Tampa Bay area should be ready for several days of rain.

The National Hurricane Center at 9:30 a.m. Saturday said the storm has officially dissipated into a tropical wave. As a result, all coastal watches and warnings were discontinued.

The Hurricane Center made its decision based on observations in Cuba, where the storm is passing, satellite images and reports from the U.S. Air Force Hurricane Hunter plane.

Officials said Erika has degenerated into a trough of low pressure, with remnants of the storm’s center located near the north coast of eastern Cuba.  The storm is expected to move west-northwestward near the northern coast of central and eastern Cuba for the next 12 to 24 hours and reach the southeastern Gulf of Mexico in about 36 hours, the Hurricane Center reports.

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There is a possibility that as the storm moves into the Gulf and heads north, the storm could possible regenerate. Regardless, the Center reports, there will be heavy rains and gusty winds over the next few days across Cuba, the Bahamas and southern Florida.

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