Erika Dissipates but May Re-Form in Gulf
Tropical Storm Erika is no more, but its rainfall will continue to hamper parts of the Caribbean and Florida as it tracks into the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
The system was downgraded to a remnant low on Saturday morning by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) after a four-and-a-half day trek through the western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea as a weak tropical storm. However, as it begins to turn more towards the north, Erika will threaten Florida in particular with heavy rainfall. A flood watch was issued for much of central and southern Florida for Sunday and Monday as a result, with as much as six inches of rain expected in parts of the state.
But the bigger concern could be what happens to Erika’s remnants when the emerge, as expected, in the southeast Gulf of Mexico near the Florida keys. The storm could pick up intensity as it moves into a move favorable environment for development, with several models (see adjacent map) pointing to a possible landfall on the Florida panhandle or the coast of Alabama or Mississippi early next week. As of Saturday afternoon, the NHC was giving the system a 40 percent chance of re-developing into a tropical system in the next five days.
Flooding attributed to Erika killed at least 20 people on the island of Dominica and led to rain totals of more than eight inches in the Dominican Republic.
Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on Erika’s remnants and the tropics.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi