WIND SHEAR, INTERACTION WITH LAND/MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN, AND DRY AIR HAVE WREAKED HAVOC WITH TROPICAL STORM ERIKA… THE MAIN QUESTION NOW IS WHETHER THE STORM’S CIRCULATION CAN SURVIVE… OUR WEATHER HERE IN HAMPTON ROADS WILL BE PLEASANT THIS WEEKEND WITH NEAR SEASONAL TEMPERATURES
As the headline states, Tropical Storm Erika has encountered strong wind shear, dry air, and it is now dealing with the mountainous terrain of the island of Hispaniola. It will soon have to also deal with the island of Cuba. Even though the storm’s overall circulation is larger than Danny’s, it is still very tough for a storm to survive such hostile conditions. Hispaniola has destroyed many tropical cyclones in the past. The disruption of a storm’s circulation by the mountainous island has caused the demise of these storms. The wind shear that destroyed Danny has also prevented Erika from intensifying. The storm was lopsided throughout a good portion of it’s journey westward, with the heaviest convection located east of its center. If it can survive its pass over Cuba this weekend, there is a chance that it could regain some strength as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico. Folks in Florida need to monitor Erika. The very warm water temperatures and possibly decreasing wind shear may enable the storm to make a comeback. But, that is definitely not a certainty. Note that even though Erika was not a hurricane, it has been deadly for the island of Dominica. Heavy rain caused devastating flooding in that small island. Some parts of the Caribbean have been enduring a drought so the rain was welcome in some areas. However, it came much too fast in some areas… Our weather this weekend will be seasonal and meteorologists don’t anticipate any major issues the next few days. We could use the rain, however. There is a very slight chance of a shower/storm Monday and possibly towards the end of the week, but right now, rain chances remain low throughout the forecast period. That’s it for now. Have a great weekend!