MIAMI — Tropical Depression Emily was moving out over the Atlantic early Tuesday, a day after slogging across the Florida peninsula, where it brought drenching rain and power outages.
As the storm makes its way up the east coast, it will be something to watch in the Carolinas. Emily could bring some rip currents along the North Carolina coast by the end of the week, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said, but meteorologists along the coast are saying the affects won’t be major.
“It’s a weak storm. Still, we’ve had plenty of dangerous rip currents along our coast this summer, so you always want to be careful,” said Gardner. “As it moves into the Atlantic it will remain unorganized. The National Hurricane Center doesn’t forecast it to strengthen into a tropical storm again, and it’s likely to have very little impact on the coast.”
Tropical Storm Emily made landfall Monday morning near Tampa Bay and swirled over west-central Florida drenching the area with up to 8 inches of rain. The Florida Highway Patrol closed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay through much of Monday because of maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph) associated with the storm.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 31 of the state’s 67 counties as a precaution. Forecasters also warned of possible isolated tornadoes and offshore waterspouts spinning off of the system, which sent swirling rain bands across parts of south Florida.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center on Tuesday said the depression’s maximum sustained winds are near 30 mph (48 kph). Forecasters say slight strengthening is possible during the day but the poorly-organized depression is expected to stop being a tropical system within a day or two.
The depression is centered about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north-northeast of Vero Beach, Florida, and is moving east-northeast near 12 mph (19 kph).