Tropical Storm Emily made landfall on Anna Marie Island on the west coast of Florida this morning around 11 a.m., according to the National Hurricane Center.
Emily burst onto the scene this morning when the system formed into a tropical depression around 6 a.m. local time. Two hours later, what had been the sixth tropical depression of the current Atlantic Hurricane Season strengthened into Tropical Storm Emily.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for the counties affected by Emily. This allows the state government to ensure local authorities and services have the necessary resources to assist those in the path of the storm.
The National Hurricane Center's latest advisory on Tropical Storm Emily indicates the system is producing maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and is moving east at 9 mph. As of noon EST on Monday, the center of the storm was situated just north of Sarasota, Florida.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for a portion of the Tampa Bay area, including the city of Tampa as well as Apollo Beach and Westchase. Emily has the potential to drop three to six inches of rainfall over the warned area, with locally higher amounts possible, according to the National Weather Service.
Additionally, unrestrained outdoor objects and tree branches could be thrown around by the tropical storm force winds. Isolated tornadoes are also possible, as is common with tropical cyclones.
According to the latest government-issued forecasts, the system is expected to make its way through central Florida over the next day or so while simultaneously weakening to a tropical depression. Tropical cyclones must produce sustained winds of 39 mph or greater to be classified as tropical storms.
Tropical cyclone activity in the northern Atlantic Ocean historically becomes more active during the months of August and September, with the official climatological peak of the hurricane season falling on September 10 annually.