Remember Erika? The mountains of Hispaniola and Cuba tore it to bits, and the National Hurricane Center declared it dead at 9:30 this morning. All that tropical moisture has to go somewhere, though, and Florida could still see several inches of rain from its remnants. Tropical downpours on saturated soil will lead to the potential for dangerous flooding, so it’s not something to take lightly.
Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Florida this morning in anticipation of Tropical Storm Erika’s arrival this weekend and early next week. The storm’s disorganized nature and erratic motion is making it a nightmare to forecast. Here’s what you need to know about Erika as it draws closer to the U.S.
Tropical Storm Erika is a mess today, barely holding itself together as it draws closer to Puerto Rico. Despite its ragged appearance, the storm is producing very heavy rain along its path; devastating flooding on the small island of Dominica killed at least four people last night. Erika is still a threat to Florida, and current forecasts show the storm closing in on the Sunshine State as a hurricane early next week.
We’re fast approaching ten years since the last hurricane made landfall in Florida. Hurricane Wilma struck the southwestern tip of the state on October 24, 2005, and ever since then, this hurricane-prone panhandle has been incredibly lucky. That could change in the coming days if the forecasts hold true.
Social media is buzzing this afternoon over the possibility that Tropical Storm Erika could strengthen into a hurricane and threaten the U.S. East Coast next week. However, the forecast is far from certain, and the storm could either make landfall or fall apart or swerve out to sea. Predicting the future is hard, and Tropical Storm Erika represents one of those frustrating limits of weather forecasting.