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TROPICAL STORM ERIKA EXPECTED TO IMPACT BVI THURSDAY

TROPICAL STORM ERIKA EXPECTED TO IMPACT BVI THURSDAY

August 26, 20151429Views
LOCATION: 16.6 degrees north, 58.9 degrees west
DISTANCE: ABOUT 377 MILES EAST SOUTH EAST OF THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 
MOVEMENT: WEST 17 MPH 
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS: 45 MPH
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE: 1005 MB
At 5:00 p.m., the centre of Tropical Storm Erika was located near latitude 16.6 North, longitude 58.9 West. Erika is moving toward the west near 17 mph.  A west-north-westward motion at a slightly slower forward speed is expected over the next 48 hours. On the forecast track, the centre of Erika will move near or over portions of the Leeward Islands tonight, and move near the Virgin Islands on Thursday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 105 primarily to the east of the centre.
The latest minimum central pressure estimated from data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 1005 mb.
Expected Impacts on Land
The initial rain bands could begin affecting the BVI as early as Thursday morning with more intense effects occurring when the eye of the storm passes over or near the BVI.  
There are conflicting predictions from the different models which has created a lot of uncertainty regarding Erika’s development. One model suggests that the BVI is expected to experience tropical storm force conditions with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph with higher gusts while the other model suggests slightly lower maximum sustained winds of 35 to 40 mph with gusts of 55 mph and the potential for the system to weaken.  
A Tropical Storm Warning is still in effect for the British Virgin Islands. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the Leeward Islands tonight and the British Virgin Islands on Thursday.
Erika could produce total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches across portions of the Leeward and the British Virgin Islands. Residents are advised of the possibility of flash flooding in flood prone and low lying areas. Interests in the leeward and British Virgin Islands should continue monitoring the progress of Erika and execute plans to protect life and property.
Sea conditions will begin to deteriorate tonight. Rough seas in excess of 10 feet is expected and the Antigua Meteorological Service has already issued a marine warning for mariners, small craft operators and sea bathers. Securing of vessels should be done today as the sea conditions may not permit for such actions in the morning. 
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