Tropical Storm ERIKA to bring possible severe weather to Central Florida early next week

Aug 26, 2015 in "Severe Weather impacts to Walt Disney World"

Tropical Storm ERIKA could bring severe weather to Central Florida early next week.

The latest track from the National Hurricane Center forecasts ERIKA to be close to the south Florida coast on Monday morning with hurricane force winds.

The impact to Central Florida remains unclear, with the exact path of the storm to still be determined.

At 800 AM AST (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Erika was located near latitude 16.2 North, longitude 56.8 West. Erika is moving toward the west near 17 mph (28 km/h), and a west to west-northwestward motion is expected over the next 48 hours. On the forecast track, the center of Erika will move near or over portions of the Leeward Islands tonight and move near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Thursday.

Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts. Some slow strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

The last storm to impact the theme park areas was Tropical Storm ISAAC in late August 2012, although effects were limited to sustained rainfall and strong gusty winds.

The last time the parks were closed due to weather was in late October 2005, with Magic Kingdom and Epcot having delayed openings at 1pm, and Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and the water parks remaining closed for the entire day.

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Article Posted: Aug 26, 2015 / 8:42am EDT