Hurricane Elsa Batters Florida with Heavy Rains and Winds

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Hurricane Elsa is currently scraping Florida’s west coast. The hurricane is expected to continue pushing northward through the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday (July 7), while spawning high winds, isolated tornadoes, and flooding rain in many regions near its path. 

Elsa is, at present, centered just a little over 50 miles southwest of Tampa, Florida due to which hurricane warnings have been issued for regions close to Florida’s west coast, starting from Tampa Bay to Steinhatchee. Similarly, tropical storm warnings have been extended from the Everglades to inland areas of north Florida, the entire South Carolina Coast, and southeast Georgia. Tropical storm conditions will continue to prevail and spread northward in these regions through Wednesday. Since tropical storm conditions could spread into parts of North Carolina on Thursday, a tropical storm watch has been issued for the region. The Florida Peninsula is expected to experience strong winds, heavy rainfall, and even isolated tornadoes when Hurricane Elsa is close. 

Elsa is likely to maintain a Category 1 hurricane status as it scrapes near the west coast of Florida, despite dry air and wind shear. Weather forecasters have predicted that the Tampa – St. Petersburg region will be the worst impacted, while other parts of the Southeast may see some severe weather conditions as a result of the hurricane. Elsa, or whatever its remnant is, could brush through parts of southeast New England on Friday (July 9). 

Most of Elsa’s impacts, such as storm surge, heavy rainfall, strong winds, and tornado threats, will likely occur to and along the east of the track of Elsa’s center. 

Elsa became the first hurricane of the season on July 2, nearly 6 weeks before the average formation date of the first Atlantic hurricane. 

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