As Erika closes in on Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Lesser Antilles numerous tropical storm warnings are in effect. Some isolated flash flooding and mudslides are expected, but for the most part rains from Erika will be welcomed by the drought stricken islands.
If Erika can overcome increased shear and the mountains of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico on Friday, we could be looking at a rather serious threat. Warm sea surface temperatures in the Bahamas combined with lower wind shear will give ideal conditions for intensification. While the forecast models are somewhat in disagreement as to the ultimate storm path, we should get a better idea by Sunday at the latest. At that point Erika will either turn north and endanger the U.S. east coast, or move straight on into Florida… Stay Tuned!