Southeastern U.S. keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Erika

Florida, Georgia, and Carolinas potentially in storm's path

(WWLP) – Florida and now the Carolinas are potentially in the path of Tropical Storm Erika, which is gaining strength in the Caribbean. Ericka’s track has the storm potentially making landfall on Puerto Rico late Thursday night or early Friday morning, and then continuing northwestward. Tropical Storm watches have now been issued for the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, as well as the Bahamas.

There is a chance Erika could substantially weaken, or even break up altogether due to strong wind shear. If Erika holds together, however, she is expected to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane over the warmer waters near the Bahamas.

From there, most of Florida is now within the storm’s “cone of uncertainty,” meaning Erika could make landfall pretty much anywhere on the Florida or Georgia coast on Monday into Tuesday, or turn out to sea and never make landfall at all. Also potentially under threat are North and South Carolina, though long-range forecasts on Erika do not have her having an impact on New England.

Even if Erika doesn’t make landfall, she could still bring very heavy rain to the Southeast coast.

Stay with the 22News Storm Team and WWLP.com as we continue to track this tropical storm.

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