UPDATE: Emily was downgraded to a tropical depression late Monday afternoon as it continued to cross Florida. At 5 p.m., most of the rainfall association with Emily was in the Keys and the Treasure Coast. After the storm exits into the Atlantic early on Tuesday, it was expected to regenerate into a tropical storm. (Credit: NHC)
EARLIER UPDATE: Tropical Storm Emily made landfall on Anna Maria Island west of Bradenton shortly after 11 a.m., and it was expected to slowly lose strength as it crosses the Florida peninsula.
Through noon EDT, Tampa area observation sites reported highest gusts of 30-40 mph and rainfall around 3-5 inches.
Sarasota/ Bradenton International Airport reported 3 inches through 11 a.m. and a wind gust of 47 mph.
ORIGINAL POST: Tropical Storm warnings were posted for part of Florida’s West Coast Monday from Tarpon Springs south to Bonita Springs as surprising Tropical Storm Emily roared to life in the Gulf of Mexico. Winds were clocked at 45 mph as it headed east at 8 mph.
Emily was forecast to push across the state from just north of Tampa, exiting at around Titusville as a tropical depression. From there, forecasters predicted it would regain tropical storm strength and move northeast in the Atlantic.
Tropical storm force winds extended 60 miles from the center, the National Hurricane Center said.
At its current rate of speed, Emily was expected to make landfall near Tampa late Monday afternoon.
Further strengthening was not anticipated since the system was battling moderately high northwesterly wind shear, forecasters said.
The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for western portions of peninsula as far south as Everglades City.