Monday, August 1, 2011

Emily forms ... now what?

The mass of showers and thunderstorms that had defied forecasters' predictions for a day or two finally organized into a tropical storm Monday evening, and hence, we have Tropical Storm Emily affecting the eastern-most Caribbean islands.

Emily has top sustained winds of 40 mph, and the National Hurricane Center expects intensification over the next day or so, until the storm makes a predicted encounter with the island of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti).

If it survives moving across that mountainous island, Emily could be a threat to the Southeast coast of the United States.

Some of the computer models are predicting the storm will make a run at Florida's Atlantic coast, but another school of thought has Emily being grabbed by a trough over the eastern United States and curved up the coast.

It's possible Emily could repeat the path of Earl last year -- a storm that stayed a few miles off the coast of the Outer Banks.

Then again, it's also possible Emily could be destroyed over Hispaniola.

Here's the point ... for the first time this year, we have something to watch in the Atlantic and Caribbean.

Some of you have asked for Internet sites to get more information. If the storm seriously threatens the U.S., I'll list some of those. For now, I suggest the Storm 2K website ( Click on "Forums" and then "Talkin' Tropics." You'll find a mix of comments, computer models, and even live reports from islands in the Caribbean.

Of course, there's the National Hurricane Center site, at

More to come on Tuesday.