Tropical Storm Elsa is expected to make landfall in Cuba and part of the Florida Keys before heading to mainland Florida. The storm will be bringing approximately 60 mile-per-hour winds and will drop five to ten inches of rain in Cuba.
Governor Ron DeSantis issued a state of emergency for 15 Florida counties, with nine million Floridians being under tropical storm watches and warnings.
Monroe County officials, which constitutes the Florida Keys, have said mandatory evacuations will not be expected for this storm.
“The last thing we want is a lot of people leaving the Florida Keys on Monday at 11 a.m.,” Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi said. “We hope visitors will consider extending their stay through Wednesday, when we are expecting normal summertime conditions to resume, or to leave earlier on Monday to avoid traffic issues in the Upper Keys we normally see after busy holiday weekends.”
The National Weather Service (NWS) says Florida’s western coast, including Tampa Bay, can tropical storm warnings and expect storm surge lifting waters between two to four feet. Most of Florida will see heavy rainfall reaching as much as six inches, and urban areas could face flash flooding.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has also said tornadoes could likely be possible across South Florida.
A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect as far north as the Tampa Bay area along Florida's west coast. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from Bonita Beach northward to the Suwanee River. More info: https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB #Elsa pic.twitter.com/7eKYf74GLb
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) July 4, 2021
As far north as Florida’s Big Bend and near Apalachicola, counties are already being issued tropical storm watches despite the storm not being likely to reach north Florida until early Wednesday.
Peak winds in the Lower Florida Keys would occur around midnight Monday night at 60 gusting to 70 mph. A Tropical Storm Warning reaches the Lower & Middle Keys. Broward & #Miami-Dade counties are well out of the cone of concern and remain without any tropical storm alerts pic.twitter.com/7cRDXtYU2w
— John Morales (@JohnMoralesNBC6) July 4, 2021
The NHC has said Elsa will likely weaken while passing over Cuba however “slight re-strengthening is forecast after Elsa moves over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.”
Here are the 5AM EDT July 5 Tropical Storm #Elsa Key Messages. Tropical Storm Warnings and Watches extended northward along the west coast of Florida. Storm Surge Watch in effect for portions of the west coast of Florida. https://t.co/8mjVghXe3g pic.twitter.com/3Mx1RVPF2Q
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) July 5, 2021
Elsa was previously a Category 1 hurricane until Saturday morning when it was downgraded. It is also the fifth named storm on record for this hurricane season, which officially began on June 1 and broke the record as being the fastest-moving-hurricane moving at 31 miles-per-hour.
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