At this point in the game it's all about Erika...
Today Erika did more of the same. She is struggling but that is expected and will continue until this weekend. The reason for her struggle is the dry air that has invaded her and some relatively high wind shear.
The unfavorable conditions have caused her surface low to be displaced. But a new central low pressure may be forming. This basically means that Erika is poorly organized. She won't be able to get organized until she can form a new central low and for this to happen she needs a lot more convection. I honestly think that she could form a new central low tonight. Right now she looks bad. Last night she looked awful. However, late last night when I was signing off Erika formed a huge amount of new convection. She is a night crawler just like Danny. Here is a picture of her convention right now.
Here is my latest cone.
The central curvy line in the middle is the track that I expect Erika to take. There is still plenty of time for things to change but here is the threat level forecast.
If you live in the aware area it isn't time to start panicking. Just be sure to check the forecast daily for any further developments and understand that there is the potential to be impacted by Erika. Things are a little more serious if you are in the alert area. Check the forecast at least once a day and start to think about changing plans. Also be sure that you have a hurricane plan. I was thinking about putting Florida in the action threat level but I have decided against it. It's still a bit early to be doing things like gathering sandbags and preparing your property.
Currently Erika is moving west at a rather fast pace. She will continue this fast pace until she nears the Bahamas where she will slow down a bit. You can't really see this on the cone just because I'm not sure yet when and where Erika slows down.
Something that a lot of people aren't talking about is the fact that Erika is moving due west. If she doesn't shift to a north northwest direction soon she will track to the south of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, which will cause her to weaken and ultimately dissipate. Now there is only a slight potential for this to happen at this point with only a few outlying models predicting this. Even if Erika does eventually shift to a north northwest movement she could track straight over Puerto Rico and Hispaniola which will severely weaken her. Like I said there is only a few outlying models predicting this but it is is a potential.
If Erika does track to the north of the Islands and makes it to the Bahamas that's when things start to get serious. Conditions are almost perfect for development in the Bahamas. The water temperatures are hot, the shear is low and there is a good amount of moisture to work with.
That's when an ingredient for Erika comes in that we don't see very often. Models are currently predicting a strong ridge of high pressure to form over the eastern US and Canada. This could cause Erika to slow down a lot and potentially even stall over the Bahamas. The main model that is showing this right now is the Euro. When a strong ridge of high pressure forms, that also usually means that the cyclone will hug the coast and not go out to sea. The problem is that by the time Erika gets to the southeast US the high pressure ridge may weaken causing Erika to go out to sea.
The models really shifted this afternoon as you can see below. Beyond a few days the models just go all over the place with different intensities and tracks.
Right now it does look like North Carolina could take the brunt but every model run things are changing so don't take this at face value.
As for the more local weather here is the 2 week forecast : Sunny hot with a slight chance of Erika. I'm not kidding if Erika doesn't affect us the next 2 weeks look completely dry.
There is still plenty of time for things to change and develop so be sure to keep an eye to this blog and check out my twitter!