Tropical Storm Emily has formed in the Gulf of Mexico.
As of 8 a.m., the National Weather Service says the storm has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and is located about 45 mph west-southwest of Tampa.
The weather service issued a tropical storm watch for the Tampa Bay area just before 6 a.m. as the system moves onshore, bringing showers, storms and potentially heavy rainfall.
The tropical storm watch reaches from Anclote River near Tarpon Springs southward to Englewood in the region of Charlotte and Sarasota counties.
A flood watch also is in effect for much of the region – including Pinellas, Hillsborough, Hardee, Highlands, Manatee and Sarasota counties – through Monday evening, according to the National Weather Service.
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is under a high wind advisory that is expected to remain in place throughout the morning hours, at least, according to 10News WTSP.
Some areas could see as much as 6 inches of rain over the next 36 hours, 10Weather WTSP meteorologist Grant Gilmore said.
As of 6 a.m., the storm was about 65 miles west-southwest of Tampa and moving with a counter-clockwise flow east at 8 mph.
Tampa Bay residents can expect some lightning and thunder, Gilmore said, but the biggest threat is the buckets of rain the system is bringing, which will result in localized flooding.
“Standing water on roadways will also be a concern which could result in hazardous travel,” Gilmore said. “Make sure to give yourself extra time when out on the roads.”
Tampa Bay should see the worst of the storm on Monday, though pockets of heavy rainfall is expected to continue sporadically throughout the week, forecasters said.
The rain begins to let up overnight as the depression tracks farther east before completely moving out of the area by midweek, Gilmore said.
Widespread showers will remain likely until then, possibly amounting to somewhere between 3 to 6 inches by Thursday, Gilmore said — with some areas possibly seeing even more.
Aside from the rain on Monday, temperatures will still reach the upper 80s under mostly cloudy skies, Gilmore said.
This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.
Contact Samantha Putterman at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @samputterman.