A brush with the tropics

It was a fast flare up in the nearby tropics!   Emily, a surprise tropical system impacting Florida, quickly ramped up from a tiny low pressure center in the eastern Gulf.   The system was classified just offshore of  Tampa Bay early on Monday.   Emily made landfall before the noon hour as a weak tropical storm.    By late afternoon, then, it was downgraded to a depression over land in central Florida.   Moisture from Emily was cranking out plenty of rain.   As much as 6 inches cut a path across west central Florida.   Additionally, heavy rain barreled across the Florida Keys with up to 3 inches being reported during the day.   The rest of south Florida received varying amounts with gloomy skies and “not as hot” temperatures.   In fact, an ongoing heat streak was finally snapped in Miami.    It was the end of a 41 day stretch with temperatures in the 90’s (since Monday’s highs only managed to get into the mid 80’s).   Going forward, the main question is how much rain could still work into our area as the week continues.   On Tuesday, there’s still  a high chance for more heavy downpours.   Local winds will still be arriving from the south, so that’s a flow feeding tropical moisture into our area (even as Emily departs).   A more dramatic difference in our weather should arrive during the middle of the week.  It includes gradual drying, which may be a welcomed sight for those areas hit hard by recent rain. High pressure will build back into Florida from the east.  We may even feel a “better breeze” before the weekend.