Tropical Storm Emily may get August off to a wet start


Preston Beckner, 10, skateboards against a sky of storm clouds over Possum Creek Skate Park in Gainesville on Monday. Areas of Alachua and other North Florida counties got up to 2 inches of rain in the early morning hours, and more is in the forecast. A tropical system could arrive by the weekend.

Erica Brough/Staff photographer
Published: Monday, August 1, 2011 at 9:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 1, 2011 at 9:29 p.m.

The sultry summer weather we are expecting over the next several days may give us a chance to meet Emily.

Facts

National Weather Service forecast for Gainesville

Tuesday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2 p.m. Patchy fog before 8 a.m. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 94. Calm wind becoming west between 4 and 7 mph.

Tuesday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 8 p.m. Partly cloudy, with a low around 74. Southwest wind around 6 mph becoming calm.

Wednesday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m. Sunny and hot, with a high near 96. Calm wind becoming southwest around 6 mph.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 76.

Thursday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m. Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 97.

Friday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 96.

Saturday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 95.

Sunday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 95.

Tropical Storm Emily got started as “a vigorous tropical wave” on Monday and had become the fifth named storm of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season by Monday evening.



According to the National Hurricane Center, Emily was about 50 miles west-southwest of Dominica and moving west at about 17 mph on Monday night, and was expected to turn toward the west-northwest over the next couple of days. If Emily maintains its projected path, forecasters said tropical storm conditions could reach Puerto Rico by this afternoon, the Dominican Republic by tonight, and Haiti by Wednesday.

The earliest Emily could affect Florida would be Saturday, according to the Monday evening forecast from the hurricane center.

The conditions that spawned Emily are similar to conditions in North Florida — warm, wet weather.

Areas of Alachua, Marion and several other North Florida counties got doused with up to 2 inches of rain Monday from storm cells that began popping up during the early morning hours, according to the National Weather Service office in Gainesville.

Phil Peterson, a weather service meteorologist, said some areas northwest of Gainesville, such as High Springs, may have received 2 to 3 inches of rain just before and during the morning rush hour. At least two accidents on Interstate 75 may have been related to the rain, according to local officials.

More rain is in the short-term forecast for Gainesville and Ocala. Scattered to numerous thunderstorms are forecast for today, then the rain chances fall off to 20 percent until the weekend, when they increase to 40 percent.

Daytime highs will remain in the mid-90s throughout the week.

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