Tropical Storm Erika will pass over the eastern Caribbean Sea islands Wednesday night, National Hurricane Center said.
The storm, which is centered about 110 miles east-southeast of Antigua, will have its subsequent stop in and around the Virgin Islands on Thursday. On Friday, it is expected to eventually move towards the northern coast of the Dominican Republic.
According to CNN, tropical storm warnings have been issued for Anguilla, St. Maarten, St. Barthelemy, Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico and both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. These warnings are issued when there is a prediction of sustained winds of more than 39 miles per hour in the next 36 hours.
The forecasts have also prompted emergency workers in Miami-Dade County to take the necessary security measures just in case. Curtis Sommerhoff, director of the county’s Office of Emergency Management, said, “What we’re telling people now is if you have a plan, good. Stay informed. If you don’t have a plan, you shouldn’t be wasting any time.”
As reported by NBC Miami, South Florida has been placed in the forecast cone. Brian McNoldy, a senior research associate at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, said, “I know there’s a lot of hype that we’re in the cone. But there is tremendous uncertainty with this storm because in three days, it might not even be a storm.”
As of Wednesday night, the maximum sustained winds were recorded at 45 miles per hour and were said to be “poorly organized.” Analysts say that there will be “little change in strength or perhaps some slight weakening … during the next 48 hours.” As Erika is expected to reach South Florida by Monday, it will intensify with maximum sustained winds reaching 75 miles per hour.
There have also been reports of Tropical Storm Ignacio strengthening in the Pacific. It is predicted to intensify into a hurricane by Thursday. At present, its maximum sustained winds are recorded at 50 miles per hour. Ignacio is centered at about 1,485 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii. It is steadily shifting west near 7 miles per hour.
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