Tropical Storm Emily's projected path shifts toward Florida
Tropical Storm Emily's forecast track has shifted slightly west (National Hurricane Center)
Under the latest advisory, the forecast track has been nudged slightly west toward the Florida shoreline, putting the system's core about 125 miles east of Miami and within a 100 miles of West Palm Beach and Daytona Beach on Saturday.
Of some consolation, Florida would be on Emily's left - or weak - side. The system's tropical force winds extend 115 miles to the north and the east of its core.
As is stands, the Saturday forecast in both South Florida and Orlando calls for mostly sunny skies and a 30 percent chance of rain. However, if the system draws much closer, squally conditions could spread over the state's eastern seaboard, forecasters said.
At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Emily was about 120 miles southwest of Santo Domingo, moving northwest at 14 mph with sustained winds of 50 mph.
Although the system is becoming more disorganized, forecasters still expect it to regroup after passing over Hispaniola and intensify into a Category 1 hurricane near the Carolinas.
Emily's heavy rains and gusty winds are expected to pelt the Dominican Republic and Haiti by Wednesday evening and the southern Bahamas on Thursday.
A key question is whether Emily will be weakened or shredded apart by the mountainous terrain of Hispaniola. If Emily survives the crossing, conditions are favorable for it to continue strengthening, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm is projected to have sustained winds of about 60 mph as it moves into the Bahamas. A tropical storm watch has been posted for the central Bahamas, while a tropical storm warning is in effect for the southern Bahamas.
For the islands immediately in its path, Emily threatens to be a dangerous rainmaker. Puerto Rico might receive up to 12 inches of rain, whileHaiti and the Domincan Republic could see up to 20 inches of rain, which could produce life threatening floods and mudslides, the hurricane center said.
Seasonal forecast update: Storm prognosticators Phil Klotzbach and William Gray are standing pat with their June forecast, calling for 16 named storms, including nine hurricanes, five major.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration releases its updated seasonal outlook on Thursday.