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FIRST ALERT WEATHER: Erika's track pointing closer to Lowcountry - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

FIRST ALERT WEATHER: Erika's track pointing closer to Lowcountry

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Tropical Storm Erika has already dumped more than 12 inches of rain in Dominica, where four people were reported dead.

The latest track for Tropical Storm Erika shows it possibly making a closer approach toward the Lowcountry after its pass through the Bahamas, putting any possible Lowcountry impact after Tuesday morning. However, forecasters say that is days away and still far too early to predict with any serious certainty.

"Models continue to show Erika moving towards the southeastern United States next week," Live 5 Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh said. "We're continuing to look at trends and what kind of storm will emerge from a hostile environment."

Walsh said if the storm stays together, it could be a threat to the southeast.

Current position and 48-hour outlook

At 5 p.m., the center of Erika was located near latitude 16.6 North, longitude 64.0 West. Erika is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 48 hours.  

On the forecast track, the center of Erika will move near the Virgin Islands in the early evening and near or over Puerto Rico Thursday night, then near or over the Dominican Republic on Friday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts. No significant change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles from the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 mb (29.71 inches).

Current watches and warnings

The government of the Dominican Republic has changed the Tropical Storm Watch to a Tropical Storm Warning for the Dominican Republic from the northern border with Haiti eastward and southward to Isla Saona.

A Tropical Storm Warning is also in effect for Anguilla, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Guadeloupe, Southeastern Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands.

A Tropical Storm Warning means tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area in the next 36 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area generally within 48 hours.

Text STORM to 84355 to download the new Live 5 First Alert Hurricane app on your Apple or Droid device.

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