Tropical Storm Erika's track continues close to the First Coast |
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Tropical Storm Erika's projected path continues to bring the center of the storm perilously close to the First Coast.
As of the 8 a.m. update on Friday, the National Hurricane Center says Erika was located near latitude 17.7 North, longitude 68.5 West. Erika is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 48 hours.
Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph with higher gusts. Some weakening is forecast Friday as Erika moves over land, followed by little change in strength through Saturday. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 150 miles to the north and east of the center.
First Coast New meteorologist Lindsey Boetsch says the latest track shows Erika shift to the west with the First Coast still in the cone of concern. It is still unsure which path Erika will take and the next 24 hours will be very telling.
There is still a lot of uncertainty in the long range forecast. For now, the intensity will be kept as a tropical storm and not a hurricane. We are still in the cone of concern so do not be surprised at track – This has always been a possibility. Keep in mind that the models could shift again west on east. For now, the big impact days for us could be Monday and Tuesday depending on the track. If the storm stays east of the coast most of the impact is along the coast from St. Augustine to St. Simons Island. A track going into the Gulf keeps inland and beaches in tropical storm conditions.
Track Erika on the First Coast News Hurricane Central page.