Tropical Storm Emily masses off Florida's Gulf Coast

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 31, 2017 9:34 AM

(Reuters) - Tropical Storm Emily, the fifth named storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, formed off Florida's coast on Monday and was expected to weaken as it moves inland and soaks some parts of the state, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, in a statement, urged residents to brace for heavy rainfall after the storm rapidly intensified overnight. Scott was due to be briefed on the storm at the State Emergency Operations Center on Monday.

The storm, situated about 45 miles (72 km) west southwest of Tampa Bay, carried winds of up to 45 miles per hour (72 km/h), the National Hurricane Center said.

It is expected to weaken to a tropical depression as it moves across the Florida peninsula on Monday night toward the Atlantic Ocean, potentially bringing up to 8 inches (20 cm)of rain in some areas.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for the west coast of Florida from Anclote River southward to Bonita Beach.

(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru and Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum)