[UPDATED 2015-08-29 1622 UTC]
At 1330 UTC, the National Hurricane Center in Miami suspended advisories on Tropical Storm Erika as it has degenerated into a trough of low pressure. The center of this low pressure was located near latitude 21.5° N longitude 75.9° W, about 130 miles east of Camaguey, Cuba, and about 260 miles south-southeast of Nassau, Bahamas, with maximum sustained winds of 35 MPH.
Its present movement is to the west-northwest (290°) at 22 MPH. The minimum central pressure was 1011 mb or 29.86 inches.
The National Hurricane Center advises interests in the Bahamas, eastern and central Cuba, and southern Florida to monitor the progress of the remnants of Erika. The Hurricane Watch Net will be closely monitoring this system for any redevelopment.
For more information, visit the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) website.
“Please, don’t drop your guard,” said HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV. “We are just now moving into the heart of hurricane season”
The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) is closely watching Tropical Storm Erika. At 1800 UTC today, Erika was some 60 miles southwest of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and about 305 miles south east of Great Inagua Island, with maximum sustained winds of 50 MPH. The storm, which is moving due west at 18 MPH, has spread heavy rains and gusty winds into the Dominican Republic. Winds extend 150 miles from the storm’s center.
“This storm has been forecast to reach hurricane strength several times but has yet to do so,” said Hurricane Watch Net Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV. “In many ways, this storm is reminiscent of Hurricane Isaac in 2012 which didn’t reach hurricane status until a few hours prior to landfall just south of New Orleans. Erika has already caused severe flooding to areas in its path.
In preparation for Tropical Storm Erika, radio amateurs throughout Florida are mobilizing to support emergency communication. Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) groups are ready to serve at a moment’s notice, in the event normal communications infrastructure is rendered inoperative.
Erika is expected to affect the Dominican Republic and Haiti today, the Turks & Caicos Islands along with the eastern half of Cuba, and the southern Bahamas on Saturday, before making landfall in the Florida Keys and extreme South Florida late Sunday.
“Of course, this could all change,” Graves pointed out, “and, of course, the big question is, will it be a hurricane at landfall?”
The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Southeastern Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands, and the Central Bahamas. The Tropical Storm Warning has been discontinued for Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Northwestern Bahamas and the Cuban provinces of Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas, Holguin, and Guantanamo.
The Hurricane Watch Net will continue tracking this tropical weather system and, should it become a hurricane, will activate on its primary frequency of 14.325 MHz during daylight hours and on 7.268 MHz after nightfall.
“Whatever the case, residents in the path of this storm should take every precaution to protect their families and property,” Graves advised.
Visit the HWN website for the latest information on Tropical Storm Erika and on other active systems in the tropics as well as on net activation plans.