Hurricane Elsa becomes the first for the 2021 season; Florida on the way next week


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Elsa strengthened in the first hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic storm season on Friday as it hit the eastern Caribbean, as officials closed schools, businesses and airports, and the storm is expected to affect Florida early next week and officials are urging residents there to make preparations. It’s a potential emergency as Elsa approaches, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Friday, adding that southern Florida could see storm-force tropical winds as soon as Sunday night. Continuous winds were near 85 mph, making the storm a Category 1, according to an 8 p.m. EDT advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Located 475 miles east-southeast of Isla Piata in the Dominican Republic, moving from west to northwest at 30 miles per hour, Elsa became the first recorded E storm, overtaking Edward, which formed on July 6 2020. Elsa is the fifth named storm. out of season in the Atlantic. The storm is the first hurricane to hit Barbados in more than 60 years. “This is the first hurricane of the season we’ve ever seen to hit the area around Barbados and move a hurricane across the Caribbean Sea too early,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Bernie Rhino. University of Georgia meteorologist Marshall Shepherd wrote in Forbes that the first hurricane of the Atlantic season typically forms around August 10. We usually don’t see storm E, fifth of the season, “E” (fifth) storm of the season until about August 31, Florida Public Radio’s Emergency Network said Elsa could turn north and weaken after it strengthens into a hurricane: The path to the east of the bay is most likely, except that it will likely follow Elsa north over the Florida peninsula — or even east of the Sunshine State, according to AccuWeather forecasts. The hurricane center said there is a risk of a storm surge and wind and rain impacts on the Florida Keys and parts of Florida as early as next week, and AccuWeather said weather conditions could begin to deteriorate in the Florida Keys and southern Florida as early as Monday night. . At this early stage, there is the potential for flooding precipitation, damaging winds and blackouts in the Florida peninsula with perhaps the worst conditions along the Gulf Coast side. “The effects on the contiguous United States will begin Monday night at the earliest after the system passes through the Caribbean. Residents from the Central Gulf Coast and across Florida and the Carolina coast should monitor Elsa’s progress,” AccuWeather chief meteorologist Adam Dottie said, no The expected uncertainty remains greater than usual due to Elsa’s possible interaction with the Greater Antilles. during the weekend. AccuWeather forecast 15 inches of rain in Cuba and Florida from late weekend into early next week. Where the heavy rain falls depends on Elsa’s exact path, but torrential rain can occur far from the storm’s center. Hurricane warnings were issued for parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti as well as all of Jamaica as Elsa approached, while a hurricane watch was issued for most of eastern Cuba. The Hurricane Center said a hurricane warning means that a hurricane is expected somewhere within the warning zone, and that “preparations to protect life and property must be expedited.” Officials in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines closed schools, businesses and the international airport on Friday. Heavy rain and winds hit Barbados, which imposed similar lockdowns late Thursday, and Hurricane Elsa is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of total rainfall with maximum amounts of 10 inches on Friday across the Windward Islands and southern Leeward, including Barbados. . Flash floods and isolated mudslides. Over Puerto Rico, 1 to 3 inches of rain with localized amounts of 5 inches is expected late today through Saturday. This rain may lead to isolated flash floods and minor flooding in rivers, along with the potential for mudslides. Spaghetti Models for the ElsaTrack Hurricane Elsa Contribution: Rick Neale, USA TODAY Network; Ndia Yancy Prague, USA TODAY; Associated Press


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