By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
July 31,2017, 5:04:41PM,EDT
Emily will unload torrential rainfall and raise the risk of flooding and rip currents in central and southern Florida into Tuesday.The system formed over the Gulf of Mexico, just west of Tampa, Florida, during early Monday morning. Tropical Depression Six was upgraded to Tropical Storm Emily a few hours later.
Emily moved ashore near Anna Maria Island, Florida, at 10:45 a.m. EDT Monday. Anna Maria Island is near the southern entrance of Tampa Bay.
Emily has weakened since moving inland, being downgraded to a tropical depression late Monday afternoon.
Emily will cause locally gusty winds with and without thunderstorms and create rough surf along both the east and west coasts of central and southern Florida.
A small number of the thunderstorms can produce waterspouts and brief tornadoes.
Locally strong and frequent rip currents are likely, and seas may be too rough for small craft.
However, it is the rainfall that will be the most problematic.
"Rainfall of 2-4 inches will be common, but local amounts near 8 inches are possible," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.
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Motorists should be prepared to seek an alternate route as roads that drain poorly during heavy rainfall will likely become flooded.
Major Florida cities at risk for street and poor drainage area flooding include Fort Myers, Naples, Melbourne, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Fort Pierce, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.
Conditions have improved around the Tampa Bay area and will continue to slowly improve from northwest to southeast over west-central Florida into Monday night.
"Emily will emerge along the east coast of Florida sometime on Tuesday," Pydynowski said.
Emily is likely to regain strength and could become a hurricane over the Atlantic at midweek. Rip currents and rough surf will be an issue in some locations. Tropical development in the Atlantic ramps up quickly during August.