TROPICAL STORM EMILY AND FLORIDA

Many uncertainties about Emily's future..

The disorganized showers east of the Lesser Antilles finally gathered around a circulation center near the island of Dominica to form the 5th tropical storm of the 2011 season. Conditions are not all favorable for significant strengthening as it heads on a west northwest journey across the north Caribbean.

If the storm continues organized by the time it reaches Hispaniola, it faces some disruption upon encountering the mountainous terrain of Domincan Republic and Haiti, and possibly part of Cuba. It is not until the system enters the waters southeast of Florida that it could grow into a hurricane; but as of Tuesday morning the National Hurricane Center says this does not appear likely.

Atmospheric features in the vicinity of Florida raise questions to the path Emily will take this weekend. The Atlantic high pressure may steer the storm on a northwest track into the Florida peninsula. But a cold front approaching Tennessee and the Carolinas may weaken the western part of the high, and generate a pre-frontal trough to turn Emily northward in the Atlantic just east of Florida. This morning’s (Tuesday) NHC forecast track just off our east coast is similar to the one I originally expected when I wrote my blog “ONE GOOD TURN DESERVES ANOTHER”. If the storm becomes a hurricane and passes over south Florida (Saturday), leaving tropical waters and interaction with Florida’s land mass would cause it to weaken to tropical storm strength by the time it would reach north Florida around Sunday.

We’ll keep you posted on the mysteries involved concerning Emily’s future.

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