Tropical Storm Elsa

TROPICAL STORM ELSA: Much Of Florida’s West Coast To Be Impacted

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National Hurricane Center 5 a.m. Monday, July 5th, 2021 Tropical Storm Elsa map.

BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — The National Hurricane Center says much of Florida’s West Coast — from Fort Myers to the Panhandle — could be affected by Tropical Storm Elsa as it runs up the coast over the next few days.

The Florida Keys will likely feel the impact of Elsa later today or early Tuesday morning.

This is the 5 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center:

Tropical Storm Elsa Discussion Number 20
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL052021
500 AM EDT Mon Jul 05 2021

Elsa appears to be holding steady in strength while moving just
south of central Cuba. Radar data from Cuba and satellite images
show a persistent area of deep convection over the center and some
banding features, especially on the south side of the circulation.
An ASCAT pass from around 0130Z indicated that Elsa was a compact
system with tropical-storm-force winds mostly confined to a region
within about 60 n mi east of the center. Peak winds in the pass were
around 50 kt in the northeastern quadrant, and given the small size
of the cyclone and somewhat course resolution of the ASCAT data, it
seems very reasonable that Elsa has an initial intensity of around
55 kt. This intensity estimate is also in line with the latest
Dvorak classifications. The NOAA Hurricane Hunters will be
investigating Elsa again shortly, and the data the plane collects
will be valuable in assessing the storm’s intensity and wind field.

The tropical storm is moving northwestward at about 12 kt on the
southwestern periphery of a subtropical ridge located over the
central Atlantic. A gradual turn to the north is expected over the
next day or two as Elsa moves in the flow between the ridge and a
mid- to upper-level low over the northern Gulf of Mexico. This
steering pattern should take the core of Elsa across central or
western Cuba later this morning, near the Lower Florida Keys tonight
or early Tuesday, and then along or very near the west coast of
Florida later on Tuesday through early Wednesday. Most of the
models show Elsa moving inland over west-central or northern
Florida, but given the expected parallel motion to the coast, much
of the west coast of the state will likely see impacts from Elsa on
Tuesday and into Wednesday. After Elsa clears Florida, it is
expected to move faster north-northeastward across coastal Georgia
and the Carolinas Wednesday and Thursday before moving over the
western Atlantic. The new track forecast is just a little to the
left of the previous one to be in better agreement with the latest
consensus models.

Given the overall favorable environmental conditions, Elsa could
strengthen a little before it reaches the coast of Cuba later this
morning. Some weakening is expected due to the land interaction
with Cuba, but most of the model guidance suggests that Elsa could
restrengthen slightly before it moves inland over Florida.
Significant strengthening is not anticipated though due to moderate
wind shear. However, it should be noted that given the expected
track, much of the west coast of Florida will be on the east side of
Elsa, which is where the strongest winds, highest surge, and
heaviest rains are expected to be. Gradual weakening is forecast
while Elsa moves across portions of the southeast U.S., but some
restrengthening is possible again when the storm moves over the
western Atlantic. The NHC intensity forecast is a little higher
than the previous one while Elsa is expected to be over the Gulf of
Mexico, and it lies near the high end of the model guidance.

Key Messages:

  1. Heavy rain will impact the Cayman Islands and Cuba today
    resulting in significant flooding and mudslides over Cuba. As Elsa
    approaches the Florida Keys, Florida Peninsula, and coastal Georgia
    Monday through Wednesday, heavy rainfall may result in isolated
    flash, urban, and minor river flooding. Mid to late week, heavy
    rains across coastal South Carolina and North Carolina may result in
    isolated flash and urban flooding.
  2. Tropical storm conditions and a dangerous storm surge are
    expected to continue across portions of central and western Cuba
    today. Hurricane conditions are also possible along the south coast
    this morning.
  3. Tropical storm conditions are expected in portions of the
    Florida Keys and southwestern Florida tonight and Tuesday, where a
    Tropical Storm Warning is in effect. A Tropical Storm Watch and
    a Storm Surge Watch are in effect for much of the west coast of
    Florida.
  4. There is a risk of tropical storm conditions and storm surge
    impacts along the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas Wednesday and
    Thursday.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 05/0900Z 21.0N 79.9W 55 KT 65 MPH
12H 05/1800Z 22.2N 81.3W 55 KT 65 MPH…INLAND
24H 06/0600Z 23.9N 82.5W 50 KT 60 MPH…OVER WATER
36H 06/1800Z 25.9N 83.2W 55 KT 65 MPH
48H 07/0600Z 28.0N 83.4W 55 KT 65 MPH
60H 07/1800Z 30.1N 83.0W 45 KT 50 MPH…INLAND
72H 08/0600Z 32.5N 80.9W 35 KT 40 MPH…INLAND
96H 09/0600Z 36.8N 74.3W 40 KT 45 MPH…OVER WATER
120H 10/0600Z 42.0N 64.3W 40 KT 45 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP

 

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