We’re up to the "E" storm in the tropical Atlantic. So far the season has been relatively quiet. All the named storms have been tropical storms and haven’t gained hurricane intensity. Cindy made landfall as a weak tropical storm in late June. Arlene, the first named storm of the 2017 season, stayed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean between April 19th and 21st. Bret and Don were very week and stayed abnormally close to the equator – tracking around 10°N latitude. Now we have Emily.
Emily became Tropical Depression 6 just before 6 a.m. Monday and then was named a tropical storm two hours later. Emily made landfall as an intensifying Tropical Storm around 12 p.m. near Bradenton, Florida. Fort Desoto Park near Tampa recorded a gust to 57MPH. There was damage reported in Bradenton. There were hundreds of power outages also reported south of Tampa Bay.
Florida is extremely lucky that Emily didn’t stay over the warm Gulf of Mexico waters any longer – storms which quickly intensify before making landfall can cause significant damage. The sunshine state is also lucky that Emily is moving relatively quickly. Already some locations have received 6"+ of rain. Flooding is likely, but shouldn’t been catastrophic.
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Tropical Storm Emily is forecast to weaken to a tropical depression as she moved over the peninsula. Once she emerges into the Atlantic Ocean she will strengthen, once again, into a tropical storm. There is some possibility she could become a category 1 hurricane between Tuesday night and Thursday.
Emily will track northeast and should pass safely between Bermuda and the East Coast. We will be on the northwest side of the storm (hundreds of miles away) -- BUT this could still promote a cool southeast flow, which would increase our humidity and shower threat. If this happens, we’d see impacts on Friday. If you’re hoping for nice beach weather, we will have plenty of dry time, but there could be some pretty large waves courtesy of Emily.
Aside from Emily, the tropical Atlantic is VERY quiet. I wouldn’t be shocked if we see an uptick in tropical development west of Africa. Saharan dust, which hinders tropical development, is becoming less of an issue. We aren’t even to the halfway point of the hurricane season, which is in early September.