Tropical Storm Emily has stalled over Hispaniola, dumping heavy rains over the region Wednesday evening.
Emily was about 75 miles southeast of Isla Beata in the Dominican Republic with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, according to a 8 p.m. National Hurricane Center advisory.
Although the long-range forecast can change within the next 24 hours, the NHC's current track has it closest to South Florida on Saturday.
The current hurricane center track brings the storm closer to Florida's Atlantic coast than Tuesday's forecast, but it is still highly uncertain whether Emily will pass over the state.
Emily is predicted to move through the Bahamas as a tropical storm between Friday and Saturday, but the storm's intensity depends on how organized it is when it moves into the warmer waters.
The storm is expected to move west at 14 mph when it starts to move again.
The current track suggests that Emily may strengthen into a hurricane as it turns northeastward into the Atlantic early Monday. By then, the storm is plotted to be off the North Carolina coast.
The storm is expected to dump 6 to 12 inches of rain on the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and some areas there may get up to 20 inches of rain, which may possibly cause devastating flash floods. Hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti remain homeless after last year's earthquake.
But forecasters don't expect South Florida to receive the same rainfall amounts. Nonetheless, officials at the NHC are urging South Floridians to be prepared as the storm comes closer.
"This is definitely a good time to be preparing, and a good time to review your plan in case there's a hurricane in the area," said hurricane support meteorologist Diana Goeller. "We're still not forecasting it to be a hurricane but it's still a serious storm."
A tropical storm warning was in effect for the provinces of Guantanamo and Holguin in eastern Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the southeast and central Bahamas, and Turks and Caicos Islands.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for northwestern Bahamas.
The tropical storm warning for Puerto Rico was discontinued.