(6:33 p.m. EDT) -- Tropical Storm Erika, the fifth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, has formed this afternoon. The center of the storm is located about 390 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands.
According to the 5 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Erika's maximum sustained winds are near 50 miles per hour. The storm is expected to strengthen in the next few days.
Tropical storm watches have been issued for St. Maarten/Martin, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla and St. Barth's. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are likely within 36 hours.
Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes
No cruise ship itineraries have been impacted.
Weather Outlook: Next Affected Ships & Ports
Tropical Storm Erika is moving toward the west-northwest, and is expected to continue in this direction for the next few days. The center of the storm should remain northeast of the Leeward Islands, but could impact these islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.
At present, no cruise ship itineraries have been impacted.
Stay tuned for further updates.
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor
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Tropical Storm Erika Forms in the Atlantic
September 1, 2009