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Tropical Storm Emily could mean a drier weekend for Tampa Bay

Tropical Storm Emily could mean a drier weekend for the Tampa Bay area, forecasters said Thursday.

But there's a lot of uncertainty in the forecast because Emily is so disorganized.

The storm continues to pose a potential threat to Florida's east coast.

If Emily stays on its current projected path, passing Florida to the east, Tampa Bay should see drier weather with just a few scattered showers, said Bay News 9 Meteorologist Juli Marquez.

The current forecast calls for Tampa Bay calls for a 40 percent chance of rain this weekend with temperatures in the low 90s.

Computer models forecasting Emily's path continue to disagree, Marquez said. Although some models shifted the path to the east, others show Emily traveling west into the Gulf of Mexico. Marquez said not only have models been in disagreement, but individual models have flip-flopped.

Part of Florida's east coast was in the so-called cone of uncertainty early Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

If Emily doesn't begin to make its forecasted turn to the northwest soon, a watch could be issued for parts of South Florida later Thursday, according to the NHC.

The center of Emily was near the southern coast of Hispaniola early Thursday, according to the NHC, moving west-northwest about 7 mph with maximum sustained winds about 50 mph, according to a NHC's 5 a.m. update.

Emily was expected to turn toward the northwest Thursday and increase in speed.

Its current path takes it across Haiti later Thursday before moving over eastern Cuba Thursday night or Friday morning and moving into the Atlantic, according to the NHC.

Emily has been poorly organized because of wind shear and dry air, preventing it from intensifying.

Tropical Storm Emily could mean a drier weekend for Tampa Bay 08/04/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 4, 2011 10:36am]
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