As you read this article, Tropical Storm Elsa is still moving northwest at 14 mph with maximum sustained winds of 45 to 50 mph. There is also a chance that it could turn and come in. But what is the impact on Florida? And what can you do to prepare? Read on for the latest update. And stay tuned to learn more about what is in store for Florida. So, how will the hurricane affect the state?
Hurricane-force winds, torrential rain, and hazardous surf will wreak havoc in the west, but the Big Bend is largely spared. Elsa, which strengthened briefly into a hurricane Monday, is moving northwest at 14 mph. The storm is centered 35 miles west of Cedar Key, Florida. Elsa is a Category 1 hurricane, and it has the potential to bring a deadly tropical virus to the Florida Keys.
The eye of the hurricane will pass 105 miles west of Jacksonville, Fla., and turn northwest toward the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Monday evening. Tropical storm warnings and watches continue in the Keys and in much of Southwest Florida. Elsa is bringing rain bands with embedded gusty winds that will make it difficult for residents to get to work on Monday. Tropical storm force winds will continue for 70 miles from the center of Elsa.
Elsa is expected to bring heavy rain and mudslides to the eastern part of the state through Sunday. There are slight track shifts that could push heavier rain bands into the midlands or send all the heavy rain offshore. Although Elsa is expected to move out of the Carolinas early Thursday, it will continue to bring a muggy, humid atmosphere to the southern half of the state through the remainder of the week.
The Tampa Bay area has already been hit with heavy rains for weeks, but more rainfall could worsen the situation. A partially collapsed condominium building in Surfside could be dangerous, so crews may begin demolition this weekend. Meanwhile, in Miami and Key West, the US Coast Guard has set a Port Condition X-ray for both areas, meaning sustained gale-force winds of 39 to 73 mph. Port facilities and airports are urged to begin preparations for the storm.
Forecasters are forecasting that Tropical Storm Elsa will pass near the Florida Keys on Tuesday and then move inland. Once Elsa passes by, maximum sustained winds will fall below gale force. Some areas of Florida may experience isolated tornadoes, as rainfall amounts are more than twice as high as usual. The storm will cause a hurricane watch in areas of central and western Florida.
Hurricane-force winds extend 115 miles from the center of the storm. Forecasters say the storm will become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday night. At the time of the latest update, Elsa was located about 260 miles east-southeast of Barbados. It had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and 50 mph gusts. Its minimum central pressure was 1007 mb.
Hurricane Elsa’s storm surge and strong winds are testing the telecommunications infrastructure on St. Lucia. As the storm approached, the St. Lucia Times and St. Lucia Star reported that the airports would be closed on July 2 and that all banks would remain closed on July 1. They advised people to stay away from the coast in case of tornadoes. As of July 1, telecommunications were restored to about 80 percent of the island.
As of Sunday, maximum sustained winds have increased to 45 to 50 mph for Tropical Storm Elsa. If these winds continue, the storm is expected to cause extensive damage and numerous power outages in Lowndes County. During this time, utility crews will be able to begin work only once the winds have fallen below the threshold for the storm to become a hurricane.
The Tropical Storm Elsa may recurve to the northwest or north, or remain concealed farther south, depending on the position of the low-level circulation. This would help keep Elsa from experiencing the same impact that it did earlier. Elsa could make landfall in the eastern or southern Gulf of Mexico early next week, where it could turn more north or northwest. The hurricane center has warned that it’s important to monitor the forecast, and that Elsa will cause significant impacts.
While it’s still unlikely to produce a major hurricane in the coming days, Elsa has already shown signs of rotation in its cloud shield. The storm is expected to impact the Florida peninsula on Tuesday and Wednesday. Though Elsa is currently a tropical storm, it will likely continue to worsen as it moves across the Atlantic Ocean. It’s possible that Elsa will turn and come in on Florida, which will trigger the threat of dangerous flooding and a potential tornado.
This early development of a hurricane is unusual, especially for the Atlantic. The average Atlantic hurricane season begins at mid-season, so Elsa’s formation could lead to several tropical storms this year. The Atlantic Hurricane Season’s first named storm usually happens around July 14, though the development of a tropical cyclone before mid-season is unusual. Hurricane Hanna’s arrival in 2020 is expected to occur about three weeks after Elsa.
A few other islands in the region were under tropical storm warnings or watch status. Barbados, Martinique, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines were all affected by Elsa. Grenada and Guadeloupe also were on hurricane watches. Tropical storm Elsa looked healthy at dawn, but it has been known to turn and come in. Some areas of New England saw isolated power outages, but it’s unlikely that Elsa will hit the Florida peninsula.
While the impacts of Tropical Storm Elsa are likely to be minimal, residents in Central Florida should be vigilant about the weather Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. A few locally damaging storms are expected to form during Elsa’s inland trek. For the time being, the state’s hurricane forecaster advises residents to stay indoors and stay on top of storm reports. The hurricane center is preparing supplies for Florida and the Southeast, as well as preparing for a possible Hurricane season.
The Florida Department of Emergency Management has issued Emergency Order 21-006, which waives some emergency response and mitigation requirements. The state’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated at a partial Level 2 activation, and there are twice-daily calls between the FDEM and county emergency management offices. In advance of the storm’s arrival, FDEM is working with county and local emergency managers to coordinate protective actions.
The National Hurricane Center is also warning residents of Georgia and South Carolina about the upcoming hurricane. Elsa has already made landfall on the Gulf Coast of Florida, with strong winds and heavy rainfall affecting South Florida. In southern Florida, heavy rain and flooding are expected. Those living near Elsa should stay indoors to avoid the storm’s damaging effects. If you’re in the affected region, check on your property for any damages.
In addition to the aforementioned storms, Elsa will also be a potential hurricane for the Caribbean. A storm surge warning is in effect. The maximum sustained wind speed is 60 mph and the center was 50 mph on Tuesday morning. Forecasts for this storm indicate that the hurricane will reach hurricane strength tomorrow. However, if you’re in the Florida area, you should plan accordingly. You should stay indoors or in an area where the hurricane’s wind is weakened or hasn’t formed yet.
The impact of Tropical Storm Elsa on Haiti is still unclear. As of Friday, the storm is expected to move west with a forward speed of about 28 mph. Normally, a tropical storm moves at about 10 to 14 mph. Elsa’s forecast path will take it over the south coast of Hispaniola and the southern peninsula of Haiti. It is expected to have sustained winds of about 45 mph, with additional strengthening expected over the next 48 hours.
During Elsa’s approach to Haiti, authorities warned residents to evacuate if they live near the coast or the flank of a mountain. The country is prone to flooding, landslides, and widespread erosion. In addition, the country’s infrastructure is already compromised, allowing for mudslides. Meanwhile, Haiti’s civil protection agency (UMH) is running out of basic supplies. Despite this, villagers bought food and water as Elsa approached.
As of Friday afternoon, Elsa has decreased to a tropical storm and passed over the Lesser Antilles. Although it is a tropical storm, Elsa has killed three people in the Dominican Republic. One was a 15-year-old boy, and the other was a 75-year-old woman. The third death occurred in the St Lucia province. While Elsa is slowing down in the Caribbean Sea, the Caribbean is already experiencing heavy rainfall.
In addition to Haiti, Elsa is also expected to affect the Dominican Republic and Cuba. While it is not expected to become a hurricane, Elsa’s outer rain bands are expected to cause some isolated flash flooding and minor river flooding. In addition to Haiti, a tropical storm warning is in effect for Martinique, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grena. It may even affect the United States.