Tropical Storm Emily formed and made landfall within 24 hours in the Gulf of Mexico. Emily hit western Florida making landfall in Anna Maria Island with Tropical-Storm-Force winds of 45 mph. Torrential rainfall of up to 7 inches per hour flooded parts of Florida. A cold front had moved south into the Gulf of Mexico and stalled. With very little shear, warm sea-surface temperatures and a surface-low that had developed along the stationary front, a tropical depression was born. Only two hours after Tropical Depression 6 had formed, radar indicated maximum sustained winds of 45 mph forming a tropical storm with gusts measuring at nearly 60 mph. Taking the tropical storm out of the equation, forecasters were already expecting showers and thunderstorms to form along the stationary front and come across Florida. Add the tropical storm back into the equation and the result is heavy rain and damaging winds. Damage includes roofs being blown off, trees being downed, widespread power outages and road closures. The Sunshine Skyway bridge connecting St. Petersburg to Manatee County was closed due to high winds. A confirmed tornado by the National Weather Service had touched down near Bradenton, Florida damaging barns and greenhouses. After Tropical Storm Emily was downgraded to a tropical depression, the torrential rainfall didn’t end as Miami streets were flooded. Roads and businesses were closed due to the flooding and power outages.
While the tropical system has moved off of the east coast of Florida, rain is still a threat as the front remains stationary. More torrential rainfall can be expected from some of the thunderstorms moving onshore adding to the flooded areas from Tropical Storm Emily. The image above shows the remnants of Tropical Storm Emily to the east of Florida and more showers and thunderstorms are shown to the west of Florida.
“Turn around. Don’t Drown.”
Stay tuned for more on the tropics here!
ⓒ 2017 Meteorologist Brandie Cantrell