Erika Now Projected to Miss South Florida

The streak is alive! After nearly a week of dire predictions about Tropical Storm Erika, it looks this morning like South Florida's decadelong hurricane-free run will continue.

Erika is actually no longer a tropical storm — overnight, it weakened into a depression. And this morning's projections now call for the storm to track westward, missing South Florida before gradually strengthening into a tropical storm again and running into the Panhandle.

The storm was barely hanging onto its named status this morning with 40 mph winds over Cuba, but that could change.

"Surface observations from Cuba and reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft suggest that Erika is degenerating to a trough of low pressure," NOAA writes in its 8 am advisory. "If subsequent data confirm this,advisories will be discontinued later this morning."

Assuming the predictions hold up, Erika looks to be another useful — if annoying — fire drill for South Florida, which rolled the dice and missed yet another hurricane. 
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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink