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Puerto Rico Under Tropical Storm Warning As Erika Gains Steam

A forecast by the National Hurricane Center shows Tropical Storm Erika gaining strength as it heads west toward Florida.

The National Hurricane Center has put Puerto Rico, and some surrounding islands in the Caribbean, under a tropical storm warning as Tropical Storm Erika gains strength in the Atlantic.

The warning means that residents of the island should expect tropical storm winds and heavy rain in the next 36 hours.

Here's the five-day forecast put out by the Hurricane Center:

The Miami Herald explains:

"Erika will likely regain strength steadily is it moves across the Caribbean, forecasters said, unleashing tropical storm force winds on the Leeward Islands by late Wednesday or early Thursday.

"What happens next remains less certain, forecasters say, because models used to calculate hurricane tracks have split on what path Erika takes. While some predict a stronger storm will tack to the north, others point to a weaker storm headed more to the south. The storm could weaken as it moves over land or encounters dry conditions that helped snuff Danny.

"'We don't even have a hurricane until Sunday afternoon, and there's a great deal of uncertainty about that, so the best thing for South Florida residents to do is check back every day or so,' said hurricane center spokesman and meteorologist Dennis Feltgen."

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