After coming to a standstill on Tuesday morning, Tropical Storm Emily has resumed its march westward through the Caribbean. It also has strengthened slightly.
At 2 p.m., the system was about 215 miles southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, moving west at 12 mph with sustained winds of about 45 mph, up from 40 earlier in the day. It was about 1,200 miles southeast ofMiami.
Because of Emily's slowdown, it now predicted to draw near South Florida on Saturday morning - still as a storm, not a hurricane.
It is expected to run parallel to the state's coast and be near Central Florida on Saturday afternoon. Forecasters say the system could produce stormy conditions at the shoreline, but for nowOrlando and other inland areas are expected to see a hot, relatively dry day on Saturday.
South Florida might start seeing rains and gusty winds on Friday night, the National Weather Service said. How much will depend on how close the system comes, and the forecast remains highly uncertain, meaning it likely will change over the next few days.
If the storm remains offshore, Florida's eastern seaboard would be on its left - or weak -side. The system's tropical force winds for now extend 70 miles from its center.
Most of Florida remains in the cone of error. However, since the previous advisory, the cone has been shifted slightly to the east and now includes southeast Georgia and the South Carolina coast, rather than the Florida Panhandle.
Emily might have slowed down to reorganize itself, the senior hurricane specialist Lixion Avila of the National Hurricane Center said. Just the same, the forecast track has changed little since the previous advisory.
Over the next three days, Emily is expected to move south of Puerto Rico, angle across Hispaniola, nick the eastern edge of Cuba and arrive near the central Bahamas. From there, it still is predicted to parallel Florida's east coast and aim generally toward the Carolinas.
Emily, the fifth named storm of an already fast-paced season, is expected to produce up to 6 inches of rain and a storm surge of up to 2 feet above normal tide levels along its path.
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