Erika fighting an uphill battle?
Tropical Storm Erika is now forecast to remain a tropical storm according to the National Hurricane Center.
Erika is experiencing a different environment than Danny, however still a somewhat potent one.
There isn't as much dry air to combat Erika as we saw with Danny, but there is considerably more wind shear. Also, Erika is currently heading toward Haiti and the Dominican Republic which holds some very tall mountains. The highest being above 10,000 feet. The friction from the land including high terrain and the wind shear will create a somewhat hostile environment for Erika. The National Hurricane Center as even hinted at the possibility that Erika could potentially even fizzle out before it reaches the Bahamas. I'm not as easily sold on that prognostic as I was on Danny, but I can't argue that the possibility is there.
Considering that possibility, the National Hurricane Center is now keeping Erika as a tropical storm as it reaches Florida. Another noticeable difference is that the track has nudged very slightly toward west. It's currently forecast to bisect Florida as opposed to scraping along east coast. This is related to the upper level trough which has brought us the extremely pleasant conditions this past week.
The upper level trough is currently steering Ericka and pulling it north. However, this trough is forecast to move back toward the west over us. With that said, I'm fairly confident that it won't move sufficiently enough toward the west to steer Erika our way if she stays intact.
We're not out of the doghouse yet, we're still keeping an eye on Erika. We' are approaching the peak of hurricane season so always have a plan ready and stay updated on WBRZ.com as well as social media for the fastest updates. Overall though, Erika is not a threat to Louisiana at the current time.
On Facebook: Meteorologist Robert Gauthreaux III
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