Tropical Storm Erika Continues Approach to Leeward Islands; Projected Impact on Territory Friday Morning

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At 11 a.m. today, the center of Tropical Storm Erika was estimated near 16.5 north, 60.4 west about 298 east-southeast miles of St. Croix. The storm is moving to the west at 10 miles per hour with top winds of 40 miles per hour. Tropical storm force winds, winds in excess of 39 miles per hour, extend 105 miles mainly to the east of the storm center.

On its current track, Erika is expected to pass approximately one mile to the northeast of St. Thomas around 1 a.m. Friday representing a direct hit for the islands of St. Thomas and St. John and exposing the island of St. Croix to tropical storm winds.  The current forecast projects the storm system to be a tropical storm with top sustained winds of 50 miles per hour when it impacts the territory.  Early estimates of rainfall associated with this weather system is on average 2-4 inches with the potential for up to six inches of rain in some locations.   

Tropical storm watches and warnings may be required by the end of the day today and flash flood watches and or warnings may become necessary as well.