Tropical Storm Erika forecast to gain strength

MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Erika is approaching the Leeward Islands from the Atlantic and is forecast to gain strength.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds early Tuesday are near 45 mph (75 kph).

Tropical storm watches have been issued for portions of the Leeward Islands including Montserrat, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, Saba and St. Eustatius. A tropical storm watch means tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours.

Erika is centered about 840 miles (1,355 kilometers) east of the Leeward Islands and is moving west near 20 mph (31 kph).

Meanwhile in the Pacific, a tropical depression is forecast to become a tropical storm later in the day. The depression has maximum sustained winds near 35 mph (55 kph). It’s centered about 1,610 miles (2,595 kilometers) east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, and is moving west.

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