Tropical Storm Emily emerged in the Caribbean near the Lesser Antilles on Monday evening, and its initially predicted to draw close to South Florida on Saturday as a minimal hurricane. It has had little change in strength since forming.
At 5 a.m. the fifth named storm of the Atlantic storm season was about 245 miles southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, moving west at 16 mph with sustained winds of 40 mph. It was some 1,200 miles southeast of Miami.
Under the initial forecast, subject to large errors, the system would be south of Puerto Rico on Tuesday, approach the Dominican Republic on Wednesday and the Turks and Caicos on Thursday.
It would be near the central Bahamas on Friday and just off the coast of Miami on Saturday afternoon. However, the projected path may well shift in upcoming days, as forecast models get a better grip on the steering currents.
Indeed, beyond the next two days, the track forecast is "highly uncertain," hurricane specialist Mike Brennan said. For now, most of the Florida peninsula is in the five-day cone of error.
Watches and warnings have been posted for several Leeward Islands, as well as Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The system threatens to produce up to 6 inches of rain along its path and a storm surge of up to 2 feet above normal tide levels.
With Emily, the Atlantic season is almost a month ahead of schedule, as the fifth named storm doesn't form until Aug. 31 on average.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun