National Hurricane Center:
ELSA STRENGTHENS A LITTLE AS IT RACES TOWARD THE WINDWARD
* A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Barbados, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Tropical storm conditions are expected in portions of the Windward and southern Leeward Islands within the warning areas on Friday.
*A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Guadeloupe, Grenada and its dependencies. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch areas on Friday.
Interests elsewhere in the Windward Islands, Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti should monitor the progress of this system. Additional watches and warnings will likely be required later today.
There is a risk of storm surge, wind, and rainfall impacts in the Florida Keys and portions of the southern Florida Peninsula early next week. However, the forecast uncertainty remains larger than usual due to Elsa’s potential interaction with the Greater Antilles this weekend. Interests in Florida should monitor Elsa’s progress and updates to the forecast.
At 11 a.m. AST, the center of Tropical Storm Elsa was located about 680 miles (1095 km) east-southeast of the Windward Islands. It’s moving toward the west near 28 mph (44 km/h). An even faster motion toward the west-northwest is expected over the next 24 to 36 hours. On the forecast track, Elsa will pass near or over portions of the Windward Islands or the southern Leeward Islands on Friday, move into the eastern Caribbean Sea late Friday and Friday night, and move near the southern coast of Hispaniola on Saturday. By early Sunday Elsa is forecast to move near portions of eastern Cuba.
Recent satellite wind data indicate that maximum sustained winds are now near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km), mainly to the north of the center. Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.
Elsa is expected to produce rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches with maximum totals of 10 inches on Friday across the Windward and southern Leeward Islands, including Barbados. Over Puerto Rico, rainfall of 1 to 3 inches with localized amounts of 5 inches are expected Friday into Saturday. This rain may lead to isolated flash flooding and mudslides.
The next complete advisory will be issued at 5 p.m. AST – www.hurricanes.gov