A tropical storm warning is also in effect for the Eastern Shore.
St. Mary’s County declared a state of emergency Thursday morning ahead of the storm. The state of emergency is a week long and will end at noon on July 13. The emergency order authorizes the Commissioner President “to take such measures as necessary to maximize the preservation of life and property, including the authority to require the evacuation of areas,” the county said.
The NWS anticipates peak winds to hit the region beginning on Thursday night.
A flash flood watch was issued by the NWS for Baltimore City and Cecil, Baltimore, Prince Georges, Anne Arundel, Charles, St. Mary’s and Calvert counties until 8 a.m. Friday. Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester counties are under a flash flood watch until 5 a.m. Friday.
Flash Flood Watch goes into effect at 5 P.M. Rain from #TropicalStorm#Elsa is beginning in extreme southern #Maryland. Totals of 2-3″ expected in southern Maryland with some places seeing near 5″. Moderate to heavy rain over a period of a few hours is likely to trigger flooding. pic.twitter.com/ZQSTph1TdU
While rain is expected in Baltimore city, heavier rain and wind is expected on the coast to the south and east.
Elsa’s center will make its closest pass to Maryland Thursday night into Friday morning. The latest from the National Hurricane Center is that Elsa has strengthened a bit. Maximums sustained winds are up from 45 mph to 50 mph.
5 P.M. update on #Elsa: The #TropicalStorm has strengthened a bit. Max sustained winds are up from 45 to 50 MPH and the center of the storms is about 125 miles WSW of Norfolk. Elsa will move over southern Maryland late tonight. pic.twitter.com/F9uuog0CNe
Some uncertainty remains regarding how far north some of Elsa’s rain bands and tropical-storm-force winds will reach, but for now officials feel confident that areas south and east of Baltimore will catch the brunt of this storm. Portions of the lower Eastern Shore and far southern Maryland should prepare for tropical-storm-force winds, heavy rain and rough surf.
Wind was already picking up in Ocean City Thursday afternoon.
There is a chance for thunderstorms and showers beginning Thursday after 3 p.m. in Ocean City. The NWS said there is an 80% chance of heavy rain and wind in the area Thursday night into Friday, and on Friday there will also be a chance for Thunderstorms.
Wind gusts could reach as high as 36 mph Thursday. There is a slight chance for thunderstorms Friday night.