Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Tropical Storm Emily - Wednesday AM Update

There have not been any big changes in Tropical Storm Emily since Tuesday evening. As of the 8am update from the National Hurricane Center, the storm still has sustained winds around 50mph and is expected to pass near or over the Dominican Republic and Haiti late today and tonight. Hispaniola is a mountainous island, which should weaken the storm. There are some cases where a storm falls apart all together, but most models do not show that happening at this time.

It will be important to monitor how well Emily stays together after passing over Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Once it emerges over the Bahamas late Thursday and Friday, conditions will be favorable for strengthening. In fact, several models now show Emily becoming a hurricane off the southeast coast this weekend. The next tricky part of the forecast becomes the track Emily takes and how close it comes to the coast.
Most models now turn Emily to the northeast Sunday taking it off the Carolina coast, but not all of the models agree just how far offshore the storm will track. At this time, I do not anticipate any impacts from Emily in central North Carolina including the Triangle and Sandhills. Impacts along the coast will all depend on the exact track. A track close to the coast would bring rain and wind. If the storm stays farther offshore, the only impacts would be rough surf and rip currents. As with any tropical system, the track and intensity forecast could change over the coming days changing the forecast impacts on our area. If you have beach plans this weekend, I would not cancel them yet, just stay alert to the latest forecast.

Scattered afternoon storms unrelated to Emily are still possible this weekend.

Be sure to stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for the latest forecast. We'll have tropical updates at :21 and :51 after the hour through the week.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

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