Surprise! Emily Storms Ashore in the Sunshine State
[Updated Aug. 1, 9:22 a.m.]
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season forecast was recently updated to reflect increased chances for tropical activity. Right on cue, Emily surfaced in the Gulf of Mexico and headed toward Florida.
The quickly generating storm spun up at the mouth of Tampa Bay. Just hours after being named, it made landfall at Anna Maria Island, west of Bradenton. The system moved relatively briskly across the peninsula, bringing with it torrential rain and blustery conditions to Central and South Florida. Both regions have been experiencing an above average wet season so far.
In response to Emily, Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in 31 counties. The counties included in the state of emergency are (in alphabetical order): Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Lucie, Sumter, and Volusia.
As of the 8:00 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center on August 1, Emily was a poorly disorganized tropical depression moving over the western Atlantic Ocean near Vero Beach.