As of Thursday morning, August 27, Erika was passing between the islands of Guadeloupe and Antigua with 50 mph winds. National Hurricane Center has posted Tropical Storm Warnings have been posted for the Caribbean Islands in the path. Watches have been issued for the southern Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands. Winds extend 105 miles from the center.
Rainfall is expected to be a general 3 to 5 inches with up to 8 inches in top spots. The forecast guidance suggests a path still very close to Florida, but curving farther north. I need to preface each one of these outlooks with the idea that the 5th day and beyond in projections is uncertain. That is why you will see a wider cone around the center forecast track each day. This is based on the influence of other weather systems as well as the speed of the tropical system. Should it slow down or speed up a little, that could make a high difference in the net result. As of now, the impact on the US shores from Florida and northward will start Sunday night and go into next week.
This brings us to the wide range of computer model outlooks. The typical spaghetti map plots still shows the storm curving up the east coast, but the GFS model is interesting. This suggests a strong High Pressure off of the East Coast that will force Erika inland instead of curving out to see. Quite a difference than what it showed yesterday. Again, this is not a forecast but just the potential of what could happen. Compare the tracks here and see more info below.