Erin downgraded back to a tropical depression as of late Saturday night. Sunday, the storm began taking a more westerly track and slowed its forward moving speed to around 8 mph. The winds being generated by the storm only registered at about 35 mph. This falls below the criteria for a tropical system to be considered a tropical storm. It is likely over the next few days Erin will become a "remnant low" and will stop being officially tracked by the National Hurricane Center.
Erin has once again returned as a tropical storm but with winds only at 40 mph, it is weak and still expected to downgrade as the week progresses.
A burst of activity late Friday night was enough to reorganize the storm as it continues across the Atlantic at about 15 mph. Both The National Hurricane Center and forecast models begin curving the storm north by Monday and Tuesday. The farther north the system tracks, the less likely it will be in maintaining its tropical storm status.
Erin will likely fall back below tropical storm strength by Monday.
Erin has weakened from a tropical storm to a tropical depression, the National Weather Service announced Friday morning.
According to the NWS, the structure of the cyclone consisted of a low-level cloud swirl with a couple of small areas of convection south and east of the center. As a result, the Dvorak classification has fallen and Erin was downgraded to a 30-KT tropical depression.
Erin's weakening is likely the result of cool sea surface temperatures and stable air, although Erin is expected to move over warmer water in a few days.
In less than 24 hours, a batch of storms off the coast of Africa strengthened enough to become the fifth tropical storm of the season.
This storm, which originated from an African wave, is called Tropical Storm Erin. It is tracking northwest at 14 mph away from the Cape Verde Islands. The storm was upgraded by the National Hurricane Center at 8 a.m. when sustained winds were measured at 40 mph, meeting the criteria for tropical storm strength.
Tropical Storm Erin is still almost 4,000 miles away from Eastern Carolina. Most forecast models show the storm continuing on the northwest track through Monday. If so, the storm would be about half way across the Atlantic by the beginning of next week.
Closer to home, an area of investigation is brewing in the Gulf of Mexico near the Yucatan Peninsula. This batch of storms weakened some overnight Wednesday into Thursday. But is still likely to become a tropical depression with winds greater than 23 mph.
Forecast models differ as to where to take the Gulf storm. Some push it into Mexico, while others show the storm moving north towards the Louisiana area. If the storm is pushed north, there is a good chance it could bring us heavy rainfall Sunday as the storm rides up the stationary front anchored off our coast.