Erika Weakens to Tropical Depression, Storm Warnings Discontinued

September 3, 2009

(5 p.m. EDT) -- The National Hurricane Center is reporting that Erika has weakened to a tropical depression, and all associated storm warnings have been discontinued. Maximum sustained winds are at 35 miles per hour, and the storm is expected to dissipate on or before Friday.

(11:20 a.m. EDT) -- Tropical Storm Erika, the fifth named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, continues to make headway through the Caribbean Sea. The storm is currently located about 100 miles east-southeast of St. Croix, and about 200 miles from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

According to the 11 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Erika's maximum sustained have held steady at 40 miles per hour. Little change in strength is expected, and the NHC is forecasting that Erika could weaken over the next few days.

New tropical storm warnings have been issues for Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Tropical storm warnings are in place for Dominca, St. Maarten, St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, St. Barth's, Nevis and Anguilla. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are likely within 24 hours.

Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes

Carnival Cruise Lines has altered Carnival Glory's seven-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary. The ship, which departed Port Canaveral on Saturday, will now spend a day in Grand Turk today instead of a day at sea. The ship will return to Port Canaveral on Saturday.

Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas will no longer call in Dominica today, and will spend the day at sea instead.
Weather Outlook: Next Affected Ships & Ports

Tropical Storm Erika is moving toward the west-northwest, and is expected to approach Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands late tonight.

Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas is also in the region, but the line has yet to announce itinerary changes for that ship.

We'll keep you posted.

--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor