Elsa Downgraded to Strong Tropical Storm, Path Trending Towards Florida’s West Coast

By  //  July 3, 2021

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Elsa is carrying 70 mph max sustained winds

National Hurricane Center has downgraded Elsa to a strong Tropical Storm on Saturday as the system prepares to make landfall on Hispaniola. (NHC Image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – National Hurricane Center has downgraded Elsa to a strong Tropical Storm on Saturday as the system prepares to make landfall on Hispaniola this afternoon.

Elsa was upgraded to a category 1 hurricane on Friday after reaching max sustained winds as high as 85 mph. However, the system weakened more than anticipated overnight as it moved over the Windward Islands and closer to Hispaniola. Cooler sea temperatures and unfavorable upper level winds helped contribute to the decrease in strength.

Tropical Storm Elsa is carrying 70 max sustained winds and moving to the west-northwest at 29 mph.

The latest path projection for Elsa has the tropical storm impacting South Florida by late Monday night.

For Brevard County, the outskirts of Elsa are forecasted to begin impacting the local area Tuesday morning.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
– The coast of Haiti north of Port Au Prince
– South coast of the Dominican Republic east of Punta Palenque to Cabo Engano
– The Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin,
– Las Tunas, and Santiago de Cuba
– Jamaica

A decrease in forward speed is expected later today and Sunday, followed by a turn toward the northwest Sunday night or Monday.

Elsa will move near the southern coast of Hispaniola later today and tonight, and move near Jamaica and portions of eastern Cuba on Sunday.

By Monday, Elsa is expected to move across central and western Cuba and head toward the Florida Straits.

Elsa is forecast to move move near or over portions of the west coast of Florida on Tuesday.

Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are now near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts.

Little change in strength is forecast tonight, but gradual weakening is forecast on Sunday and Monday when Elsa is expected to be near or over Cuba.

A storm surge will raise water levels above normal tide levels by as much as the following amounts in areas of onshore flow within the hurricane watch and warning areas:

Southern coast of Cuba…3 to 5 feet
Southern coast of Hispaniola…2 to 4 feet