FIRST ALERT WEATHER: Erika's track moves further west, could still impact Lowcountry

FIRST ALERT WEATHER: Erika's track moves further west, could still impact Lowcountry

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The latest track for Tropical storm Erika, which is no longer expected to become a hurricane, shows another slight shift to the west.

That means it could bring dangerous flooding rains to parts of Florida over the weekend and even here in the Lowcountry next week.

"Erika will slow down after making landfall in Florida and it could take days for the storm to move out of that region," Live 5 Meteorologist Justin Lock said. "Florida will get hit with very heavy rain and some of that could move our way as early as Monday."

Forecasters say Erika is very disorganized and is just southeast of the Dominican Republic. Passing over that mountainous region is expected to weaken the system even further.

If the storm stays together after that, then some strengthening is possible before Erika is expected to make landfall near south Florida early Monday morning with 60 mph winds.

At 11 a.m., the center of Erika was located near latitude 17.7 North, longitude 69.4 West. Erika is moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 48 hours.

On the forecast track, the center of Erika will move over the Dominican Republic Friday afternoon, move near the Turks and Caicos Islands Friday night, and move near the central and northwestern Bahamas Saturday and Saturday night.

Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that 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 night. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 150 miles to the east of the center.

Punta Cana at the eastern end of the Dominican Republic recently reported a wind gust of 40 mph. The minimum central pressure based on Hurricane Hunter aircraft data is 1008 mb (29.77 inches).

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