The 2015 hurricane season predictions have Tropical Storm Erika’s path heading toward Florida this coming week. But will the tropical storm strengthen to become Hurricane Erika in the Gulf of Mexico, or will it fall apart completely before reaching the United States? No one knows for certain, but the computer models still have it bringing plenty of rain during Florida’s hurricane season.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, the death toll from Tropical Storm Erika has already exceeded more than 10 people as the Caribbean storm continues to wind its way northwest.
Several days ago, the 2015 hurricane predictions called for Hurricane Erika only becoming a reality if Tropical Storm Erika swung east of Florida and strengthened in the Bahamas.
“There’s a lot of ingredients in the mix,” said Colorado State University research scientist Phil Klotzbach. “If it tracks over the mountains they may pretty well kill it. That’s really the question. This is kind of a boom or bust situation. Erika could be torn apart and cease to exist, or go through the Bahamas and really intensify quickly.”
Fortunately, the former option seems to be the most likely option based upon the latest 2015 hurricane predictions from the National Hurricane Center. They note that the winds have dropped all the way down to 35 miles per hour and Erika is now classified as only a tropical depression.
Writing for The Washington Post, Brian McNoldy of the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science notes that “Erika is still very disorganized, and has still not turned toward the northwest…. But several inches of rain are still possible across parts of central and southern Florida starting Sunday.”
“The latest 5-day precipitation forecast below shows substantial amounts of rain for basically all of Florida, but particularly along the west coast,” he said. “This is by far the biggest anticipated impact from Erika, or what’s left of it.”
But it is possible Tropical Storm Erika will return since the forecast also indicates that the depression could reorganize into a tropical storm after hitting the Gulf of Mexico, but when it comes to the possibility of Hurricane Erika returning “the abnormally large uncertainty in this forecast cannot be overstated.” Even if this hurricane season prediction does not pan out, “a messy weak tropical cyclone or disturbance is quite capable of producing a LOT of rain. The official intensity of the storm (tropical depression, Category 1 hurricane, Category 3 hurricane, etc) is only gauged by the peak wind somewhere in the entire storm, but other impacts are also destructive and must not be ignored.”
[Image via NASA]