Tropical Storm Erin forms off African coast

  • Tropical Storm Erin formed early Thursday in the Atlantic.
Tropical Storm Erin formed early Thursday in the Atlantic. (National Hurricane Center )
August 15, 2013|By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

Tropical Storm Erin has formed just west of the Cape Verde Islands and is forecast to strengthen as it moves across the Atlantic, at least for a couple of days.

The storm was moving at about 15 mph to the west-northwest, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, as of about 11 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center. And it is forecast to move into conditions favorable for it to intensify, with moist air and low wind shear, when varying wind speeds at different altitudes, inhibiting storm development.

But beyond that, by the weekend, models show the storm moving into drier air. That could cause it to weaken or dissipate by early next week, before reaching the Caribbean islands.

Forecasters are meanwhile still watching another tropical system to the southeast of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. Observations showed it became slightly less organized by early Thursday morning than it was on Wednesday, but expect it could still strengthen once it moves over the Gulf of Mexico.

The hurricane center gave it a 50 percent chance of developing into a tropical storm within the next 48 hours. cautions it could eventually bring flooding to the Southeast U.S.

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