Erin weakens to tropical depression again

Tropical Storm Erin moving across open Atlantic, does not pose a threat to land


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The National Hurricane Center says Erin has been weakened to a tropical depression again as it continues its trek across the Atlantic Ocean.

At 11 p.m. Saturday, the storm's maximum sustained winds were 35 mph, with higher gusts.

Erin was centered about 955 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands and is moving west at 8 mph.

Closer to home, the NHC is watching a tropical wave that passed over the Yucatan Peninsula Friday and emerged into the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, about 150 miles north-northwest of Campeche, Mexico.

Forecasters say the system is poorly organized, with all shower and thundershower activity well north and northeast of the center of the system. Environmental conditions will be favorable for development while the system moves to the west and northwest over the next couple of days.

The NHC gave the system a 40 percent chance of becoming a named storm over the next 24 hours and a 50 percent chance over the next four days.

Whether it becomes a tropical storm or not, tropical air is streaming out of the Gulf and across North Florida and South Georgia.  This has contributed to heavy rainfall for the last couple of days and expected to continue into the weekend, especially north of Interstate 10.

Erin is the fifth named storm so far this hurricane season, but the peak of the tropical activity usually occurs in late August and early September.