Tropical Storm Emily developed in the Caribbean close to the Lesser Antilles Monday evening. It is predicted to reach South Florida on Saturday as a category one hurricane. Small change in its strength since it formed has been reported.
At around 5 a.m., it was reported to be about 245 miles of San Juan, Puerto Rico and was about 1,200 miles southeast of Miami. With sustained winds of 40 mph, it is travelling at 16 mph.
If the forecast holds, the tropical storm would reach south of Puerto Rico Tuesday, get to the Dominican Republic by Wednesday and hit the Turks and Caicos Islands by Thursday. It is predicted to reach central Bahamas by Friday and draw close to the Miami coast by Saturday. However, the estimated course may change in next few days, as more data about steering currents becomes available.
Hurricane specialists using the computer models to predict the path of Emily stated that it may hit Florida by this weekend. According to the forecast made by the National Hurricane Center, a low-pressure trough is more likely to form over the western Atlantic, which could pull the storm toward South Florida. However, it is difficult to determine the path of Emily because of its rough condition. As per hurricane specialists with the Accuweather and National Hurricane Center, the system may die down as it approaches land and interacts with dry air, but other atmospheric conditions, like warm sea-surface temperatures may strengthen it.
The storm is predicted to move diagonally from the Lesser Antilles in the direction of Florida. According to Erik Pinrock, leading meteorologist with Accuweather, the high pressure that is shielding the storm over and above the eastern Atlantic and Florida has moved over the Midwest, allowing the tropical systems to progress toward Florida. Pinrock added that certain large-scale conditions in the environment support the predictions made by the computer models and forecasters with the National Hurricane Center.
According to Pinrock, there is a chance of Emily developing into a minimal hurricane. However, if the storm is stronger, then the possibility of it turning north-east toward the sea before reaching Florida is quite high.
The hurricane season this time is off to an active beginning. Before Emily, all the four named storms have been weak. However, the season is going to peak shortly, increasing the possibility of more forceful storms developing in a couple of upcoming months.