MIAMI (AP) — Tropical storm warnings have been issued for Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and the Leeward Islands as Tropical Storm Erika approaches.
The storm’s maximum sustained winds increased Wednesday morning to near 45 mph (75 kph) with some slow strengthening forecast over the next two days.
Erika is centered about 335 miles (540 kilometers) east of Antigua and is moving west near 17 mph (28 kph).
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Erika will move over or near parts of the Leeward Islands on Wednesday night and move near Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Thursday.
Meanwhile in the Pacific, Tropical Storm Ignacio has gained a little strength. The storm’s maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50 mph (85 kph) and it’s expected to strengthen to a hurricane by Thursday.
Ignacio is centered about 1,485 miles (2,385 kilometers) east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, and is moving west near 7 mph (11 kph).