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Erika slightly weaker but tropical storm warning still in effect for BVI

LOCATION: 16.5 degrees North, 63.8 degrees West

DISTANCE: ABOUT 127 MILES SOUTH EAST OF THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

MOVEMENT: PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 280 DEGREES AT 16 MPH…26 KM/H

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…45 MPH…75 KM/H

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1006 MB…29.71 INCHES

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At 200 PM AST, the center of Tropical Storm Erika was located near latitude 16.5 North, longitude 63.8 West. Erika is moving toward the west near 16 mph (26 km/h). A turn toward the west-northwest is forecast later today, and this general motion should continue for the next 48 hours.
On the forecast track, the center of Erika will move near the Virgin Islands later today, move near or over Puerto Rico tonight, and move near or over the Dominican Republic on Friday.
Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours.
A tropical Storm warning remains in effect for the Virgin Islands which means that sustained winds of 39 to 73 miles per hour (mph) are expected in association with the cyclone when it reaches the VI this afternoon.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km) to the east of the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 mb (29.71 inches).

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Erika’s tropical storm-force winds were on the east side of the storm, so the strongest winds of the storm will not occur in the Virgin Islands until later this afternoon when heavy showers and storms are likely to affect the area.

The showers and storms could result in localised flooding. Some of the strongest storms could contain wind gusts strong enough to cause scattered power outages.

The Antigua/Barbuda Meteorological Service issued a marine warning for mariners, small craft operators and sea bathers and this remains in effect. Mariners should have already sought safe anchorage for their vessels, as seas could deteriorate and peak near 12 feet during the passage of Erika.

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According to NOAA Forecaster Pasch “Erika is not well organized at this time. Although deep convection increased overnight and early today during the diurnal maximum, with considerable lightning activity, banding features were lacking. The convection is also not well organized on the Guadeloupe radar imagery. Recent high-resolution visible imagery shows the low-level center becoming exposed, again, to the northwest of the main area of thunderstorms.”

Reports from earlier today indicated that heavy rains and strong gusty winds swept through much of the northern Lesser Antilles Islands today. According to the Antigua Met Service, Canefield Airport on Dominica recorded 8.86″ (225 mm) of rain in 6 hours from Erika on Wednesday night and heavy flooding has affected the island.

At 9:00am this morning, Guadaloupe Airport recorded 1.18″ of rain with a peak wind gust of 36 mph and a Personal Weather Station at higher elevation on St. Thomas recorded a wind gust of 47 mph.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:
The government of Antigua and Barbuda has discontinued the Tropical Storm Warning for Antigua and Barbuda.
The government of the Dominican Republic has extended the Tropical Storm Watch southward to Isla Saona.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Anguilla
* Saba and St. Eustatius
* St. Maarten
* St. Martin
* St. Barthelemy
* Montserrat
* St. Kitts and Nevis
* Puerto Rico
* Vieques
* Culebra
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* British Virgin Islands

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Guadeloupe
* Dominican Republic from the northern border with Haiti eastward and southward to Isla Saona
* Southeastern Bahamas
* Turks and Caicos Islands

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Interests elsewhere in the Dominican Republic should monitor the progress of Erika.