BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Tuesday August 25, 2015 – More watches have been issued as Tropical Storm Erika continues on a projected bath that could see it threatening the Bahamas this weekend as a Category 1 hurricane.
The 11 a.m. advisory issued by the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) indicated that Erika hadn’t really got any stronger – with maximum sustained winds still near 45 miles per hour – but some slow strengthening is expected over the next 48 hours, and a tropical storm watch has now been issued for Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.
The other countries for which the watch remains in effect are: Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten.
“On the forecast track, the center of Erika will be near the Leeward Islands Wednesday night and early Thursday,” the NHC said, adding that tropical storm conditions are expected in the watch area around that time as well.
— WJZ | CBS Baltimore (@cbsbaltimore) August 25, 2015
Erika, which emerged in the central Atlantic last night, is over warm waters and in an area of low wind shear which provide a favourable environment for strengthening.
It’s for that reason it is predicted to grow into a Category 1 hurricane with top winds of 80 miles per hour over the weekend as it arrives in central Bahamas on Sunday.
Forecasters say that after that, it should encounter wind shear, which could cause it to weaken, and it could also be hampered if it moves over the mountains of Hispaniola.
Air Force Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to investigate Erika later today.