Tropical Storm Erika headed toward Leeward Islands; some slow strengthening expected _lowres

Tropical Storm Erika continues to move toward the Caribbean and could reach the Leeward Islands tonight. (Photo from National Hurricane Center)

Tropical Storm Erika continues to move toward the Caribbean and could reach the Leeward Islands tonight.

As of 4 a.m. Wednesday, the storm is centered about 390 miles east of Antigua, moving west at 18 miles per hour.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center. Some slow strengthening during the next 48 hours is expected. Erika could reach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Thursday.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Anguilla, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Montserrat, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.