Everything South Florida Needs To Know About Tropical Storm Erika For This Weekend
It's been a decade since Florida's most active hurricane season, and South Florida has avoided a major hurricane since. This weekend, however, Tropical Storm Erika is poised to make landfall in South Florida.
Though the storm is no longer forecasted to be a hurricane when it arrives, it's still important to have a plan of action, and stay informed about Erika's development.
Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency across the state of Florida on Friday, so we've put together a quick yet comprehensive guide on everything South Floridians need to know about Tropical Storm Erika right now.
Here’s the latest as of 5 p.m. Friday:
Where Erika Is Now: Dominican Republic
Where Erika’s Headed Next: Haiti, Turks and Caicos, and the southeastern Bahamas Friday night; the Central Bahamas and possibly eastern Cuba on Saturday, as well as the northwestern Bahamas by Saturday night
Wind Speed: Maximum sustained winds are 50 mph
Direction: Moving toward the west at about 21 mph, with a turn toward the west-northwest or northwest expected.
Here's a recap of what the storm has been up to on its path to Florida:
1. Gov. Rick Scott issued a state of emergency Friday morning for all 67 of Florida’s counties in preparation for Tropical Storm Erika’s arrival.
2. The storm’s projected path can be seen in this GIF combining several forecast models below, courtesy of CNN:
3. The latest forecast tracks show Erika moving across the Florida Keys and hitting Southwest Florida, but the Southeast area can still expect awful weather.
4. Heavy rain and gusts of wind are likely in South Florida between Sunday and continuing into Tuesday. The storm’s cone is expected to make landfall in the state between Sunday night and Monday morning.
5. Flooding is expected in low-lying areas, according to NBC Miami, so the South Florida Water Management District has prepared its regional control system to help reduce flooding. The City of Hollywood is also distributing sandbags to residents on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
6. The Broward School District, universities, grocery stores and storm supply stores have not yet announced any closings, but Palm Beach County school events are canceled on Sunday. If there are any changes over the weekend, schools will be communicating closings to their students, and updates can be found here.
7. Erika has left at least 12 people dead and others missing in the small Caribbean island of Dominica, CNN reported.
8. The good news is Tropical Storm Erika was downgraded from its hurricane forecast, and may even become a depression or tropical wave in the next 24 hours, according to NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins.
9. This is what Erika looks like from up above, as seen from the perspective of NASA’s Terra satellite:
Stay safe by following the National Hurricane Center’s public advisories throughout the weekend. The NHC's next complete advisory will be issued at 11 p.m.