PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Tropical Storm Emily formed early Monday in the Gulf of Mexico, about 45 miles west-southwest of Tampa, and made landfall hours later in southwest Florida.
It weakened to a tropical depression shortly before 5 p.m.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Emily developed into a tropical storm at 8 a.m., just hours after forming as a tropical depression.
As of the 11 p.m. advisory, Emily was moving east away from Florida at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph. The storm was about 35 miles west of Vero Beach.
Local 10 News chief certified meteorologist Betty Davis said the storm is forecast to weaken slightly as it cuts across the state before turning toward the northeast and strengthening as it crosses into the Atlantic Ocean.
"It will be moving toward the northeast, getting farther away from Florida so it becomes less of a concern out there for us," Davis said.
As much as 8 inches of rain were expected to drench Okeechobee between noon Monday and 8 a.m. Wednesday. A little more than 2 inches was estimated for Miami.
Bouts of heavy rain could impact South Florida on Tuesday.
Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 31 Florida counties earlier in the day, including Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade.
"I have declared a state of emergency across 31 counties to ensure that every community has the resources they need, and that state, regional and local agencies can easily work together to keep people prepared during Tropical Storm Emily," Scott said in a news release.
Max Mayfield, Local 10 News hurricane specialist and former director of the National Hurricane Center said the storm formed very quickly and now it's a standard depression.
A tropical storm warning was in effect for the west coast of Florida from Englewood to Bonita Beach. All watches and warnings have since been lifted.
Emily made landfall about 10:45 a.m. at Anna Maria Island near Sarasota.
Be sure to download the Local 10 Hurricane Survival Guide to keep you safe before, during and after a storm.