Erika dissipates as tropical storm
MIAMI – Erika, a tropical storm that was losing strength as it hit Haiti with heavy rains and strong winds, has dissipated, the US National Hurricane Center said on Saturday.
“Erika has dissipated as a tropical cyclone,” the Miami-based hurricane centre said on Twitter.
It said earlier on Saturday that Erika’s maximum sustained winds had dropped to 40 mph (64 kph), just above the threshold for a tropical storm.
The remnants of Erika were now expected to move over Cuba, providing welcome relief from a drought, before heading out into the Gulf of Mexico and skirting South Florida.
The NHC said the weather system could still reform as a tropical storm before reaching the northern Florida Panhandle.
Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on Friday, noting the storm could travel “up the spine of Florida” from Sunday into next week. He planned to give an update on Erika’s potential impact on Florida later on Saturday. (Reuters)