Latest Tropical Storm Erika track keeps system out of Gulf

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Despite uncertainty, Miami-Dade gears up for Erika.

Tropical Storm force winds extend outward up to 105 mph primarily east of the center. Latest predictions from the National Hurricane Center near Miami show Tropical Storm Erika making landfall early next week near east central Florida as a Category 1 hurricane. “After the ’04 and ’05 seasons — the three major hurricanes and Tropical Storm Wilma in ’05 — anytime we went out into the community, it was a very attentive topic,” Soto said. “People wanted to know about it; people wanted to be prepared.A tropical storm watch was extended to the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas on Wednesday as Erika, the fifth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, closed in on the Eastern Caribbean and appeared to be heading for Florida, the U.S.

Over the next two days, Erika is expected to sweep past the Leeward Islands and head toward Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, but what happens after that is less clear. And there were signs late Wednesday that the storm could take a turn to the north and merely brush Florida’s Atlantic coast. “Don’t board anything up.

Erika strengthened slightly on Wednesday and could reach hurricane status near Florida by Monday morning, the Miami-based government forecaster said, but its future intensity was uncertain due to possible wind disruption. “We are preparing the protective and responsive measures we will need if the storm continues to develop, out of an abundance of caution,” said Director Bryan W. National Weather Service meteorologist Will Ulrich said he hopes most Floridians already have hurricane-preparedness plans in place, but after a decade without a storm, there’s a good chance many aren’t ready. That’s especially true for new residents and the younger generations, who haven’t experienced — or don’t remember — the damage a hurricane can cause, he said. This early in the forecast, Ulrich said it’s best for people to start thinking about a plan and about the “what ifs,” just in case Erika continues on its track to Florida.

The five-day forecast model for Erika — that familiar cone with a black line in the middle — shows the storm approaching southeast Florida, north of Miami, early Monday. If you don’t have a plan, you shouldn’t be wasting any time,” said Curtis Sommerhoff, director of the county’s Office of Emergency Management.

It would then enter warmer water and more conducive weather that could help it become a hurricane before potentially hitting Central Florida on Monday. Deskins said Erika might spin in the water off Tampa for a few days, “which is not what we need with all the flooding we’ve had.” The region is just a couple of weeks removed from a historic run of rain that left many parts of Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough under water. Still, forecasters warned the track could easily change because long-range projections have such a large margin of error: 180 miles by day four, and 240 miles by day five.

The county also has beefed up information provided on its website, including storm surge software that allows residents to enter addresses to find out whether they live in an evacuation zone.

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