Tropical Storm Elsa Update
July 6, 2021
Naples should begin feeling the effects of TS Elsa later this morning beginning with some increased winds and rain bands hitting the area. There are some deep areas of convection approaching with potential of heavy rain and wind gusts of 30 mph. There is a possibility of some localized flooding in the area and the community should be cautious of our normal areas that tend to flood. These conditions should last for the next 12 to 24 hours. Fire-Rescue will monitor for issues and respond and report. Stay safe. Pete DiMaria – Fire Chief, Naples Fire-Rescue Department
Tropical Storm Elsa Discussion Number 24
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL052021
500 AM EDT Tue Jul 06 2021
Elsa is now located over the Florida Straits, with tropical-storm-force wind gusts occurring across the Lower and Middle Keys. Doppler radar data and satellite images indicate that the core of Elsa is fairly small and has maximum winds of around 50 kt. The outer rainbands associated with Elsa are spreading northward across southern Florida, and a cluster of deep convection has been lingering over portions of central and western Cuba. The Air Force Hurricane Hunters will be investigating Elsa later this morning, and the data the plane collects will be valuable in assessing the storm’s intensity and structure.
Elsa is moving to the north-northwest at about 10 kt on the western periphery of a subtropical ridge that is located over the central Atlantic. The storm should turn northward later today as it moves in the flow between the ridge and a mid- to upper-level low over the south-central U.S. This motion should take the core of Elsa parallel to and likely just offshore of the west coast of Florida through tonight. After that time, a slight turn to the north-northeast is forecast as another trough moves across the north-central U.S. This slight change in heading should bring Elsa inland across the Big Bend region of Florida by early Wednesday and then across coastal Georgia and the Carolinas Wednesday night through early Friday. Thereafter, the storm is expected to accelerate and move northeastward off the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts. The NHC track forecast is basically unchanged from the previous one and lies close to the model consensus aid TVCA.
Now that Elsa is gradually pulling away from Cuba, it will have an opportunity to strengthen. However, the environmental conditions are only marginal for the storm to do so. Dry air on the western side of the cyclone and some westerly shear should prevent rapid intensification, but the small cyclone will likely strengthen slowly before it moves inland over the Big Bend of Florida. The GFS model shows Elsa deepening by 5-10 mb before and fall, and the ECMWF shows even greater pressure falls. Based on these models, the intensity forecast is nudged upward and now shows Elsa just below hurricane force before landfall in Florida. After Elsa moves inland, steady
weakening is forecast, but the system is expected to restrengthen over the western Atlantic as it transitions into an extra tropical cyclone.
Based on this new forecast, a Hurricane Watch has been issued for a portion of the west-central and Big Bend Florida coast. In addition, it should be noted that much of the west coast of the Florida Peninsula is expected to see wind, rain, and surge impacts since that region will be on Elsa’s east side. A Tropical Storm Watch has also been issued for the Georgia coast and portions of the South Carolina coast.
Tropical Storm Elsa
- The center of Elsa is about 50 miles west of Key West, FL and moving to the north-northwest at 12 mph with max sustained winds around 60 mph.
- Elsa has moved back over water and some gradual strengthening to near hurricane strength is possible over the next 24 hours. Landfall is expected along the Nature Coast early tomorrow morning. The storm remains lopsided with nearly all of the wind, rain, surge, and tornado threat on the eastern half of the storm.
- Hurricane Watch:Coastal portions of Citrus, Dixie, Hernando, Levy, Pasco, and all of Pinellas County
- Tropical Storm Warnings:Middle and Lower Keys (Craig Key to Key West & Dry Tortugas); Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Levy, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota, Sumter, Suwannee, and Taylor; western portions of Alachua; western and central portions of Marion; Coastal portions of Charlotte, Collier, Lee, Jefferson and Wakulla; Mainland Monroe.
- Tropical Storm Watch:Baker, Bradford, eastern Alachua, eastern Marion, Lake, Madison, Union; coastal portions of Franklin’ Inland portions of Jefferson, Lee, and Charlotte.
- Tropical storm force winds from 40-70 mph are possible, particularly along the immediate coastline with gusts in squalls across inland areas.
- Storm Surge Warning:Bonita Beach to the Aucilla River, or the coastal areas of Charlotte, Citrus, Dixie, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota, Taylor.
- Storm Surge Watches:Coastal areas of Jefferson and Wakulla County.
- Storm Surge values of 3-5’ are expected from the Aucilla River to Englewood with 2-4’ from the Ochlockonee to the Aucilla and from Englewood to Bonita Beach. 1-3’ elsewhere in Southwest Florida and the Keys.
- Flood Watch:All of Northeast Florida, the West Coast, the eastern Big Bend, and the Orlando metro landfall
- A widespread 3-5” of rain is possible across the eastern Big Bend, Northeast Florida, and West Coast over the next 3 days with localized totals of 6-8”. This could result in some urban or flash flooding early next week due to wet/saturated soils as well as some minor river flooding.
- Saturated soils due to 200-300% of normal rainfall over the last two weeks will make trees more susceptible to falling in strong winds.
- Dangerous rip currents are expected at all Florida beaches. Minor to moderate beach erosion is also possible along West Coast beaches with dune over wash.
- A few to several tornadoes are expected across Northeast, Central, and South Florida today, tonight, and Wednesday morning.
The next briefing packet will be issued mid-day after the 11 AM ET advisory, unless significant changes warrant an update tonight. For the latest information on the tropics, please visit the National Hurricane Center website at www.hurricanes.gov.