By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
August 1,2017, 9:10:17PM,EDT
Seas and rip currents are likely to increase along part of the United States Atlantic coast as Emily travels northeastward over the Atlantic Ocean during the middle and later part of this week.Emily is currently a tropical depression and is tracking northeastward between Florida, the Carolinas and Bermuda. Emily formed rapidly early Monday morning, just west of Tampa, Florida. Emily became a tropical storm prior to drifting eastward over the Florida Peninsula.
Seas will build offshore of the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and around Bermuda as the week progresses. How rough surf conditions get will depend on Emily's strength and proximity to the coast.
Bathers should be alert for strong and frequent rip currents. Small craft operators should exercise caution outside of protected intercoastal waters from Florida to North Carolina and in Bermuda.
Rip currents and offshore seas may also build as far to the north as New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts late in the week.
Even if Emily stays far away, a northeasterly flow of air around high pressure already nearby will raise seas and surf.
AccuWeather Hurricane Center
How hurricanes form
How to avoid the potentially deadly grip of a rip current
There are a few development factors to consider now that Emily has departed Florida.
"Warm waters of the Gulf Stream and a zone of moist air will be positives for development and strengthening of Emily," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.
Negatives for development include strong southwesterly winds aloft that will control the magnitude of strengthening and alter the structure of the storm.
"Weighing these conditions, Emily could regain tropical storm status a few hundred miles to the southeast of the Georgia and Carolina coasts during the middle of this week," Pydynowski said.
Because of the strong winds aloft, Emily is unlikely to become a hurricane.
The strong southwest winds aloft will keep Emily moving along and act as a deterrent for the storm to make a northward turn toward the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts late this week.
Only if these winds aloft become more southerly would Emily move back over the United States after leaving Florida. Emily would have to stall along the Atlantic coast for a couple of days to be swept northward.
Emily is likely to pass north of Bermuda late in the week.
Atlantic bears watching with the peak of hurricane season ahead
August is a time of transition in the tropical Atlantic.
There are a few clusters of thunderstorms moving westward off the coast of Africa that are being monitored. One or more of these features could slowly brew.
In the short term, dry air, dust from the Sahara Desert and strong westerly winds aloft will prevent rapid organization and strengthening as has been the case in recent weeks, according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
"However, in the coming weeks, as these negative development factors diminish, then the Atlantic could get busy in a hurry as we move toward the heart of the hurricane season," Kottlowski said.
Meanwhile, a cluster of thunderstorms over the central Gulf of Mexico will be monitored. Strong northerly winds aloft were inhibiting development at this time.
During August and early September, the chance of tropical storm and hurricane formation increases dramatically.
The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is during the middle of September as water temperatures are at their highest level, the atmosphere is very moist and winds aloft are light.