CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Tropical Storm Emily is expected to weaken after moving into some mountainous regions south of Hispaniola but expected to strengthen after crossing over and reaching warm waters in the southern Bahamas.
Experts say Emily will be downgraded to a tropical depression but power back up into a tropical storm.
Emily has become better organized over the last 24 hours. As of Tuesday evening, the storm has sustained winds at 50 mph, moving west at 15 mph. Emily will start to turn more towards the northwest over the coming days and will threaten Hispaniola on Wednesday and southern Bahamas by Thursday.
The official NHC forecast cone does include the South Carolina coast in the 5 day forecast as a 70 mph tropical storm. Current tracks see the storm 200 miles off the coast of South Carolina on Sunday. But officials say there's still plenty of time to keep an eye on Emily which may shift course in the coming days.
But at the moment, if Emily stays on its current track, the Lowcountry will see very minimal effects.
The National Weather Service also reports that there has been a slight increase in the organization of the cloud pattern associated with Emily and there has also been some increase in the winds but data from the Air Force reconnaissance plane indicate that the circulation is not yet well defined and pressures have not fallen significantly since Monday.
The initial intensity has been set at 45 knots and conditions appear favorable for slight strengthening before Emily moves over Hispaniola in about 24 to 36 hours. It appears that Emily has resumed a westward track and is now moving about 280 degrees at 12 knots.
The steering pattern calls for a gradual turn to Northwest and north during the next several days with no significant change in speed.
Most of the latest track guidance is consistent with the official forecast which shows Emily moving northward across the Bahamas well offshore of the United States east coast.
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