9:30AM UPDATE: ERIKA HAS DISSIPPATED
By Donna Thomas, SouthFloridaReporter.com Meteorologist, Aug 29, 2015 – South Florida will see periods of heavy rain starting late Saturday as Erika (or its remnants) moves through. As of early Saturday, tropical storm force winds appear more likely in the Keys, with Miami-Dade and Broward counties expected to see periods of gusty winds, periodic downpours and localized flooding through Monday. Best estimates at this time are 2 to 4 inches of rain on average through Monday, with higher totals in some areas, so flood warnings may be issued. As of 5 am Saturday, there were no tropical storm watches or warnings in South Florida, but that may change for the Keys later today.
Friday was a critical day for Erika, and it has taken a toll on the system. Interaction with Hispaniola has disrupted Erika significantly, and it was just barely hanging onto tropical storm status early Saturday. As of 5 am, Erika was estimated to be near 19.1 North, 75.1 West, but its center is difficult to determine. Erika is estimated to be moving west-northwest at 20 miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour. Erika is 75 miles south of Guantanamo, and its interaction with Cuba today is expected to weaken it to a depression or even cause it to dissipate. Erika or its remnants should track over the Florida Straits and into the Gulf of Mexico, and strengthening to tropical storm status again is possible by Tuesday as the system moves away from us. Again, Miami-Dade and Broward should expect heavy rains and some gusty winds, while the Keys will see stronger gusts as well as periods of heavy rain. At this time, South Florida should not experience wind speeds that would require putting up shutters.
Our Saturday will begin with sun and clouds on the breeze and highs in the low 90s, but look for rain to move in during the evening. Sunday will bring periods of showers and storms, along with highs in the upper 80s. Monday will see plenty of rain, with periods of heavy downpours and possible flooding in spots. Monday’s highs should reach the upper 80s. Tuesday will be cloudy and rainy as well, with some clearing possible on Wednesday.
Hurricane season goes on, and elsewhere in the tropics, a wave just coming off the African coast is likely to develop into a depression within the next 5 days. However, computer models indicate that this system will remain in the central Atlantic.