Weakening Tropical Storm Erika could bring rain to Florida coast next week
DEMOCRAT STAFF REPORT • September 3, 2009
Tropical Storm Erika remains disorganized in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Hurricane Center, and one forecaster says the weakening storm could bring some rain to Florida next week.
The storm is about 100 miles southwest of Puerto Rico and moving west-northwest at about 7 mph, according to the NHC. This motion is expected to continue for the next day or two with some increase in forward speed.
Maximum winds are about 40 mph, and gradual weakening is expected during the next couple of days.
Peter Ray, a meteorologist and Florida State University professor, predicts Erika will reach Puerto Rico about midnight as a tropical depression and then head on to the Bahamas.
Ray said the storm will continue to weaken but produce significant rains over Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
"Mid-next week it will approach the U.S. and the Florida coast and may produce some rain and minor gusts," Ray said. "I think it will convert to an extra tropical low before all this is over and it makes landfall or comes close to it in North Carolina – not a major event."