The upper-level low near Florida affected Erin's movement and
Associated steering currents
accelerated Erin from 6 to 17 mph and diverted the cyclone around the northeast side of the low. The
temporary and fairly subtle change of heading from west-northwest to northwest might have been
insignificant if Erin had not been so close to land. Instead, the track of the center was deflected
to a course that was over or near much of the Bahama Island chain and then toward a landfall over
east-central (rather than southeast) Florida. As this occurred, enough shearing persisted to permit only
slow strengthening. On the evening of the 31st, Erin became a hurricane while centered near Rum
Cay in the Bahamas. A ragged-looking eye appeared on satellite pictures on August 1st. Erin made
landfall very early on the 2nd near Vero Beach, Florida as a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir/
Simpson Hurricane Scale, with estimated maximum one-minute wind speeds of 85 mph.
Erin's track bent back to west-northwest while the cyclone crossed
Florida peninsula during the
morning and early afternoon of the 2nd. The cyclone weakened to a tropical storm with 60 mph winds
during that period, but remained well-organized. Upon emerging into the eastern Gulf of Mexico,
Erin reintensified on a track that gradually swung back to northwestward at about 12 mph. Final
landfall occurred near Pensacola, Florida during the late morning of the 3rd. An eye had redeveloped
but upper-level outflow was not particularly impressive on satellite images. Erin contained 100 mph
winds (Category 2) in a small area of its northeastern eyewall when that part of the hurricane came
ashore near Fort Walton Beach in the western Florida panhandle. Erin weakened to a tropical storm
in southeastern Mississippi overnight on the 3rd/4th. It was a tropical depression when its track
shifted to the north on the 5th and the east on the 6th. The depression merged with a frontal system
over West Virginia on the 6th. Its track is below, courtesy of the National Hurricane Center.
The graphics below show the storm total rainfall for Erin...data
by the National Climatic Data Center
in Asheville, NC.
Below is the calendar for Daily Precipitation Maps. Note that
the 24-hour periods end
at 12z that morning.