Tropical Storm Erika is currently impacting the Antillean islands, and it could become the first tropical cyclone to strike the continental United States this year. Erika became the fifth named storm of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season on Tuesday, just a few days after Hurricane Danny became the first storm of the year to attain hurricane strength. After passing near Puerto Rico later today, Erika is expected to track to the north of Hispañola and Cuba in the coming days. By the weekend, the storm could be strengthening as it encounters warm waters in the vicinity of the Bahamas. While it is very hard to predict the motion — and especially the intensity — of a tropical cyclone several days in advance, there is a distinct possibility that Erika could impact the southeastern U.S. coast by the beginning of next week.
Closer to home, returning students will find abundant sunshine at the Institute as high pressure settles in for the remainder of the week. High temperatures in the mid-80s (°F) can be expected through the weekend. The exception will Friday, when a sea breeze will allow cooler air to sneak in from the roughly 70°F Massachusetts Bay.