Tropical Storm Warning extends up Floridas Gulf Coast as Elsa nears Cuba landfall – WJXT News4JAX
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Elsa holds steady in strength as it nears landfall in Cuba but is not expected to strengthen much more. Elsa drenched Jamaica on Sunday before it is expected to soak Cuba today before turning its sights on Florida’s Gulf Coast and beyond.
At 11 a.m., the National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Elsa was located about 20 miles east-southeast of Cayo Largo, Cuba. It was moving northwest at 14 mph with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph.
The Tropical Storm Warning along the west coast of Florida has been extended north to the Suwannee River, including Tampa Bay. The Storm Surge Watch along the west coast of Florida has been extended north to the Ochlockonee River.
The storm has not seen any further drop in pressure that would indicate strengthening over the past 24 hours. Some slight weakening is likely while Elsa crosses west-central Cuba today. Restrengthening over the Gulf of Mexico should be limited by unfavorable westerly shear.
The NHC track forecast has been nudged slightly westward with the 11 am update.
This track would suggest some minor impacts for Jacksonville, and Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia late Tuesday into Wednesday.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota counties. President Joe Biden has declared a federal disaster order for the same 15 counties.
Elsa is the season’s fifth named storm and the first Atlantic hurricane of 2021.