Erika shifts back to the west, Florida squarely in path

The National Hurricane Center’s 11 a.m. forecast puts Tropical Storm Erika on a path slightly more west than last night, meaning Florida is squarely back in the cone of uncertainty.

But Erika still has forecasters guessing some, with one NHC meteorologist calling the potential impacts for Bahamas and beyond “unusually uncertain.”

Erika is still not well organized, and is still expected to move west, northwestward for the next few days. After that, there should be a turn to the northwest and north-northwest, but it’s unclear when that turn will occur and how sharp it will be.

>>Get up-to-the-minute storm information here.

Erika’s path will depend on its intensity, with a weaker system likely to move more to the west and a stronger cyclone more to the east, NHC forecasters said.

Track models show substantial spread at days 3 to 5, partly because the different intensities being forecast.

It’s more likely with the shift west that Erika will hit Hispanola, which may break it up some, but “potential impacts for the Bahamas and beyond are unusually uncertain.”

The National Weather Service in Miami says trends point to a slightly “increasing threat to South Florida late this weekend/early next week.”

Florida could start feeling the impacts from Erika as early as Sunday, but NWS forecasters note that the average track errors at day 4 is 180 miles, with average intensity error of up to 23 mph.

Meanwhile, the island of Dominica is seeing torrential rains from Erika and flooding.

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