Weakened Tropical Storm Erika Will Still Cause Problems
Even though Tropical Storm Erika has weakened it is still expected to bring heavy rain to Florida.
Tropical Storm Erika continues to struggle to remain a tropical cyclone as it battles a hostile environment in the Caribbean Sea.
Satellite imagery continues to show Erika’s convection (thunderstorms) displaced east of the center of circulation. At the same time, the center of circulation is ill-defined and has continued to trend south of previous National Hurricane Center forecasts. This is a common pattern for a struggling tropical system, as Danny did the same thing earlier this month.
Land interaction with the higher terrain of Haiti and the Dominican Republic has likely further degraded Erika’s circulation. Pico Duarte on the Dominican Republic is over 10,000 feet and Haiti has several peaks over 7,000 feet. Now Erika’s apparent center will have to track over parts of Cuba.
The result is that it is uncertain how much longer the storm will remain classified as a tropical cyclone. The official National Hurricane Center forecast now weakens Erika to a tropical depression later Saturday, and if reconnaissance aircraft fails to find a closed circulation (in other words, sufficient westerly suface winds on Erika’s southern flank), Erika could officially be declared a remnant or tropical wave, after which the NHC would no longer issue advisories and all watches/warnings would be dropped.