Afternoon satellite pics continue to show an increase in convection in the northern semi-circle. Im still trying to get a sense of what is happening on the west side of the low level center which so far has been on the edge of all the thunderstorms. However the visible satellite loop shows that ERIKA is becoming better organized as the core circulation seems to be improving. You can actually see what appears to be a distinct center developing which is on the western edge of the circulation but the overall presentation is definitely improving. The hurricane hunter plane only could find 35 knots so the Hurricane Center lowered the top winds but acknowledged in their discussion that it has made a bit of a come back this afternoon.
...ERIKA EXPECTED TO BE NEAR THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS TOMORROW NIGHT... SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST...2100 UTC...INFORMATION ---------------------------------------------- LOCATION...15.6N 52.8W ABOUT 605 MI...975 KM E OF ANTIGUA MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 280 DEGREES AT 20 MPH...31 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1004 MB...29.65 INCHES
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for... * Montserrat * Antigua and Barbuda * St. Kitts and Nevis * Anguilla * Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten * Guadeloupe, St. Martin, and St. Barthelemy
.The water vapor loop below shows one big difference between the environment now and with Danny is that there is dry air but it is much less in size and also if you look carefully at the loop around the islands, the dry air (in a yellowish orange gray shade) is migrating westward and shrinking with time. This supports a less hostile environment for Erika.
In my view and I have stated this many time is the survival of Erika to west of 65 west. If it can make it there without falling apart then there might be a threat down the road. JOESTRADAMUS addressed the long range and ERIKA in an earlier post today so head there for the latest long range view.
By the way it should be noted that Hurricane Wilma in 2005 was the last major hurricane to hit the US. It has been 117 months or nearly 10 years since a category 3 storm has made landfall. Sandy was a category 2 by wind criteria though it had a pressure that could have supported at cat 4. Sandy was a special case