From the ABC 7 Weather team

Meet 2011's Tropical Storm Emily, aimed for Florida (PHOTO)

August 2, 2011 - 06:00 AM
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Tropical storms are popping fast and furious now. Meet the latest, Emily, which is forecasted to head toward the southern U.S. coastline.

Emily on Aug. 1, before she became a tropical storm. (NOAA/GOES-13)

Tropical storms are popping fast and furious now. Meet the latest, Tropical Storm Emily, which is forecasted to head toward the southeast U.S. coastline. The storm's expected track takes it to the sunny, cigarette butt-strewn beaches of Florida by Saturday, where perhaps it can put out a few swamp fires. Take a look:

tropical storm emily

So who is this mysterious Emily from the tropics, and why doesn't it take care of itself? The storm is not much of a looker, according to the National Hurricane Center, which describes it as having a "rather disheveled appearance" in satellite imagery. But does it have the power to bring the hurt to the United States?

Readings on Monday night didn't sound optimistic. The system's cloud tops were warming, one sign the storm isn't towering high into the atmosphere like true tropical brutes. Plus, there's a gauntlet of meteorological muggers lurking along Emily's journey to the states, including a desert of dry air near Puerto Rico and the land masses of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which will do their best to hinder the tropical storm's march.

Still, it won't be a pleasant outside week if you live in the islands or are taking a cruise. The whipping of rainfall will be intense. Here's the Monday evening forecast from the hurricane center:

TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 6 INCHES ARE EXPECTED IN PUERTO RICO AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 10 INCHES POSSIBLE. THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES IN AREAS OF MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN....

A STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY 1 TO 2 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS IN THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA. NEAR THE COAST...THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DANGEROUS WAVES.

Follow Emily as she motors along on ABC7's Caribbean satellite monitor. (Note: The satellite image at the top of the post is from a wonderful shot of the tropics that shows both Emily and Hurricane Eugene in the East Pacific. View a complete hi-res version here.)

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