Stronger Tropical Storm Erika passing between Antigua and Guadeloupe

erika at 5

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Thursday August 26, 2015 – Tropical Storm Erika is dumping rain on the Eastern Caribbean as it passes between Antigua and Guadeloupe, continuing on a path that is expected to see it move near the Virgin Islands later today.

At 5 a.m., the slightly stronger storm, carrying maximum sustained winds near 50 miles per hour, was about 30 miles southeast of Antigua and 35 miles north of Guadeloupe.

Erika is moving to the west at near 16 miles per hour and is expected to turn towards the west-northwest late today.

5 am movement

“On the forecast track, the center of Erika will . . . move near the Virgin Islands later today, move near or north of Puerto Rico tonight, and pass north of the north coast of the Dominican Republic on Friday,” the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said. “Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours.”

forecast track

Erika is expected to dump up to eight inches of rain on parts of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeast Bahamas.

A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Anguilla, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico and sister islands Vieques and Culebra, and the US and British Virgin Islands.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for Guadeloupe, the southeastern Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the north coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Cabo, and the NHC has advised interests elsewhere in the Dominican Republic to monitor Erika’s progress.

In anticipation of Erika’s arrival, businesses, government offices, schools and airports in some of the affected islands closed and shelters opened.

Regional airline LIAT also cancelled some flights.

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