Holidaymakers warned: Florida on hurricane alert

Ruth Doherty

A tropical storm has formed in the Caribbean, and could develop into a hurricane before hitting Florida, experts have warned.

Emily is currently travelling north and west and could pick up speeds of 74mph prompting severe weather warnings in Florida.

Caribbean islands in Emily's path have already been hit with torrential rain, flash flooding, and mudslides while roads have been washed away.

The new storm is about 350 miles south east of San Juan, Puerto Rico after it formed 50 miles south west of the island of Dominica and is expected to take a turn towards Florida over the next couple of days.

Andy Mussoline, a meteorologist with AccuWeather in State College, Pennsylvania, told the Daily Mail: 'It could be impacting the Florida peninsula this weekend.'

Gaston was the last hurricane to hit the U.S. Atlantic Seaboard north of Florida, also during 2004, while Earl hit Nova Scotia, Canada, as a hurricane in 2010.

Storm warnings are in effect for Dominica, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the islands of Guadeloupe, Desirade, Les Saintes and Marie Galante, meaning that tropical storm conditions were expected within 36 hours.

Haiti, the US Virgin Islands and St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat and Antigua are also under a tropical storm watch.

'This one is pretty vigorous, so we're watching it,' said Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the Miami-based centre.