ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - Tropical Storm Emily has formed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of west-central Florida and is expected to move inland across the peninsula.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm's maximum sustained winds increased Monday morning to near 45 mph (72 kph) but it's expected to weaken back into a tropical depression as it moves inland.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for a section of the Florida coast from the Anclote River to Bonita Beach.
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Heavy rain and associated flooding will be the main threat with this system. It's possible some areas could pick up between 3-6 inches of rain through Thursday, with some areas seeing even more amounts.
The storm is centered about 45 miles (72 kilometers) west-southwest of Tampa and is moving east near 8 mph (13 kph). It's expected to bring rain and wind to central and southern Florida.
After Emily moves over Florida, it is expected to encounter wind shear in the western Atlantic, which will prevent intensification. The system should remain off-shore after leaving Florida.
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