A hurricane hunter aircraft found that Erika is slightly stronger than initially forecasted.
Tropical Storm Erika has formed on the heels of what was briefly Hurricane Danny, headed for the Caribbean's Leeward Islands and possibly reaching the Florida coast as a hurricane early next week.
The storm had 45 mph maximum sustained winds and was 245 miles east-southeast of Antigua as of Wednesday afternoon. It is forecast to pass over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Thursday and the Bahamas on Saturday.
Current models suggest Erika will strike Florida with hurricane force somewhere near Miami early Monday. However, there is relatively limited confidence in that forecast because it is still five days out.
In the meantime, tropical storm warnings are in effect across the Caribbean, including in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Danny had been tracking toward the islands last week before dissipating into a low-pressure system, bringing only heavy rain.