Home Weather Critical Day For Erika today

Critical Day For Erika today

By Donna Thomas, SouthFloridaReporter.com Meteorologist, Aug 28, 2015 – South Florida is watching Tropical Storm Erika Friday as the storm interacts with Puerto Rico and Hispaniola — an encounter which will have a big impact both on Erika’s future and on our weather Sunday and Monday. At 5 am Friday, Erika was located near 17.7 North, 67.7 West, about 155 miles east-southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Erika was estimated to be moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour. It remains poorly organized and the center is difficult to locate. Maximum sustained winds were 50 miles per hour based on measurements from Puerto Rico. Erika is forecast to track over Hispaniola on Friday and be over or near the Turks and Caicos early Saturday — if it survives its movement over the mountains of Hispaniola. Computer models have shifted westward over the last few runs, but the forecast for Erika from Sunday onward remains highly uncertain, due to potential weakening from interaction with Hispaniola and the strength of a ridge that could force Erika westward. Erika is likely to remain a lopsided system, with most of the bad weather on its east side. The bottom line is that Miami-Dade, Broward, and the Keys could experience tropical storm conditions as early as Sunday afternoon, so now is the time to prepare. Based on Erika’s strength and projected track, Saturday would be the day to put up shutters if necessary.

South Florida will see some afternoon showers and storms on Friday, along with highs in the low 90s. Saturday will be a bit breezy as Erika begins to effect our weather, but look for a few passing showers and an afternoon storm or two, along with highs near 90 degrees. Sunday will depend on Erika, with gusty winds and periods of heavy rain possible. Tropical storm conditions could extend from late Sunday through Monday, based on Erika’s projected strength and track.

Donna Thomas has studied hurricanes for two decades. She holds a PhD in history when her experience with Hurricane Andrew ultimately led her to earn a degree in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University. Donna spent 15 years at WFOR-TV (CBS4 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale), where she worked as a weather producer with hurricane experts Bryan Norcross and David Bernard. She also produced hurricane specials and weather-related features and news coverage, as well as serving as pool TV producer at the National Hurricane Center during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Donna also served as a researcher on NOAA's Atlantic Hurricane Database Reanalysis Project. Donna specializes in Florida's hurricane history.