Tropical Storm Erika proved to be no match for the volatile conditions aloft and the mountainous terrain of Hispaniola. As of 9:30 am Saturday morning, the National Hurricane Center issued their final advisory on the tropical cyclone, stating that hurricane hunters were unable to find an organized center of circulation. They did mention, however, that it is still possible the remnants of the system could regenerate into a tropical depression or storm when it moves into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. If this were to occur, forecast data suggests the disturbance would move on more of a northerly track toward the Florida panhandle by Tuesday.
Heavy rain and potential flooding continues to be the biggest concern with Erika's remnants. The system is likely to interact with a nearby trough of low pressure presently over the northeastern Gulf, and the two could team up to produce rainfall amounts of 2 to 5 inches for much of the peninsula in the next few days. The heaviest rain is most likely to occur in southwest Florida Sunday, then spread into central and north Florida Monday and Tuesday. In some locations, especially along the west coast of the peninsula, rainfall totals could exceed five inches. This could prove problematic for areas near and north of Tampa where inland flooding occurred a few weeks ago and rivers and creeks are still at elevated levels. Other than the heavy rainfall, any impacts from Erika's remnants as it relates to wind or storm surge should be minimal. However, beach-goers should be aware of an increased risk for rip currents and high surf for much of the upcoming week until the storm system passes.