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Gov. Rick Scott warns Florida residents to monitor Tropical Storm Emily

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Posted at 8:52 AM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 05:21:33-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (RNN/WTXL) - Governor Rick Scott is warning residents to actively monitor Tropical Storm Emily as watches are activated in several Florida counties.

Though it wasn't expected to happen, a tropical storm formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday morning. 

Tropical Storm Emily is located 45 miles west-southwest of Tampa, FL, and 50 miles west-northwest of Sarasota, FL, moving east at 8 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. It is packing maximum winds of 45 mph.

Florida Governor Rick Scott spoke with the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) Monday morning to get an update on potential storms. 

Governor Scott said, “As we know in Florida, storms can quickly develop, bringing severe weather to our state in a moment’s notice. Last night, this storm posed no threat to Florida. Now, after rapidly intensifying overnight, a tropical depression will impact the Tampa area and Floridians must prepare for impacts to Southwest Florida. Just as with last year’s storms, I encourage Floridians to get prepared and visit FLGetAPlan.com."

Emily will make landfall on the west-central Florida coast Monday afternoon, forecasters said, and is expected to change little in strength until landfall.

A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the west coast of Florida from the Anclote River south to Bonita Beach, FL.

Tropical storm conditions are expected in this area, including rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches between the Tampa Bay area and Naples, with isolated amounts of up to 8 inches possible, as well as strong winds.

An isolated waterspout or two is also possible within the warned area.

Forecasters expect the storm to turn northeast later Monday or Tuesday and increase in forward speed. It will then make its way across the Florida peninsula and reach the Atlantic Ocean.

Forecasters said the storm will weaken to a depression over land, but will become a tropical storm again in the Atlantic.

The storm's expected path in the Atlantic takes it roughly parallel to the coast as it moves to the northeast.

The only landfalling storm so far this season, Tropical Storm Cindy, made landfall near Lake Charles, LA, on June 22. It spawned tornadoes throughout the South, including an EF-2 in Birmingham, AL.

The storm claimed the life of a 10-year-old boy vacationing in Fort Morgan, AL.

There is currently a Tropical Storm Watch in effect from Anclote River in Pasco County southward to Englewood in Sarasota and Charlotte Counties and the depression is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches through Monday night along the west coast of Central Florida between the Tampa Bay area and Naples.