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Elsa transitions to a post tropical cyclone....last advisory issued

Elsa transitions to a post tropical cyclone....last advisory issued
Advisory (14).jpg
Posted at 10:07 AM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-09 16:44:42-04

UPDATE 7/9/21 8AM:

Elsa has been lashing New England all morning with flooding rainfall and gusty winds. The storm made its transition to post tropical this afternoon and the final advisory has been issued by The National Hurricane Center.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/9/21 8AM:

Heavy rain and gusty winds spreading over Long Island.

Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph with higher gusts. No significant change in strength is expected through today. Elsa is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone by tonight. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 160 miles from the center. NOAA buoy 44066 located about 85 miles east of Long Beach, New Jersey recently measured a peak one-minute sustained wind of 45 mph and a gust to 49 mph. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1000 mb, based on nearby surface observations.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 7/9/21 5AM:
Tropical Storm Elsa racing across southeastern New Jersey toward eastern Long Island and eastern Massachusetts. Flash flooding threat continues across the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States.

Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph with higher gusts. No significant change in strength is expected through today, and Elsa is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone by tonight.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 160 miles from the center. During the past couple of hours, a wind gust to 78 mph was measured by a WeatherFlow site in Ludlam Bay, New Jersey, while a wind gust to 71 mph was observed in Beach Haven, New Jersey. These two wind reports appear to have been associated with nearby tornadoes.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1000 mb, based on nearby surface observations.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 7/8/21 11 PM

Elsa is racing northeast at over 20 mph and is continuing the rain and tornado threat over the mid-Atlantic tonight. The storm will head toward Boston on Friday then move into Atlantic Canada on Saturday.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/8/21 5 PM

Elsa is moving NE at 21 mph and has strengthened with winds of 50 mph. The storm is close to the NC/VA border. It continues to produce heavy rain and wind as well as tornadoes across northeast NC and the Virginia Tidewater. The storm will approach Boston Friday afternoon then enter the Canadian provinces Saturday.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/8/21 2 PM

Elsa is moving quickly NE at 20. It's still a tropical storm with winds at 44 mph. Pressure is at 1007 mb. The storm will ride just east of the I-95 corridor and exit the US by Friday night.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/8/21 11 AM:

Elsa moves into North Carolina as the heavy rain continues.

Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is possible tonight and Friday while the system moves close to the northeastern United States. Elsa is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday night.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center. A buoy near Sunset Beach, North Carolina, recently reported a sustained wind of 40 mph gusting to 58 mph.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 7/8/21 8 AM:

No major changes with the 8AM intermediate advisory.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Some re-strengthening is possible tonight and Friday while the system moves close to the northeastern United States. Elsa is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone Friday night or Saturday.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles mainly over water to the southeast of the center. Myrtle Beach International Airport, South Carolina, recently reported a sustained wind of 41 mph gusting to 54 mph. The estimated minimum central pressure based on surface observations is 1006 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 7/8/21 5 AM:

Elsa still a tropical storm moving through the Carolina this morning.

Elsa is moving toward the northeast near 18 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue with an increase in forward speed during the next couple of days. On the forecast track, Elsa will move over South Carolina and North Carolina today, pass near the eastern mid-Atlantic states by tonight, and move near or over the northeastern United States on Friday and Friday night. The system should move over Atlantic Canada by Friday night and Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Some re-strengthening is possible tonight and Friday while the system moves close to the northeastern United States. Elsa is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone Friday night or Saturday. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles mainly over water to the southeast of the center. The NOAA station at Folly Island, South Carolina, recently reported sustained winds of 38 mph and a wind gust of 46 mph.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 7/7/21 11 PM:

Elsa is still a tropical storm with winds at 45 mph. It will move into the Carolinas Thursday. Forecast track remains unchanged other than to maintain it at tropical storm strength through Friday.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/7/21 8 PM:

Elsa is near Brunswick GA with winds of 45 mph. The pressure us 1006 mb. It has been a prolific tornado producer through the afternoon with a significant tornado with damage occurring earlier in the day near Jacksonville. More tornado warnings have been issued for parts of the GA coast and the severe threat will continue into South Carolina tonight. The storm will continue weakening and should reach tropical depression status on Thursday afternoon over North Carolina.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/7/21 5 PM:

Elsa is now moving into Georgia and winds are down to 45 mph. The storm will likely become a depression by Thursday morning as it moves into the Carolinas. Some restrengthening is possible as it moves back into the Atlantic and could regain tropical storm status by Friday.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/7/21 2 PM:

Elsa now has winds of 50 mph as it tracks toward the north. It is located about 100 mi west of Jacksonville. It will move into GA and the Carolinas tonight into Thursday before moving back into the Atlantic by the end of the week.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/7/21 11AM:

The center of Elsa is making landfall in Taylor County along the north Florida Gulf Coast.

Elsa is moving toward the north near 14 mph, and a generally northward motion is expected to continue through this afternoon. A turn toward the north-northeast is expected late this afternoon or tonight, followed by a faster northeastward motion by late Thursday. On the forecast track, Elsa will continue to move inland into Florida this afternoon. The storm should then move across the southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States through Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph with higher gusts. Weakening is expected as Elsa moves further inland this afternoon into tomorrow. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 90 miles from the center. An unofficial weather station at Horseshoe Beach, Florida recently measured a sustained wind of 62 mph gusting to 71 mph. Earlier, a C-MAN station at Cedar Key, Florida measured a sustained wind of 44 mph gusting to 59 mph. The estimated minimum central pressure is 999 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 7/7/21 8 AM:
Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft are currently tracking Tropical Storm Elsa. The storm is moving north near 14 mph. A turn toward the north-northeast is expected late this afternoon or tonight, followed by a faster northeastward motion by late Thursday. On the forecast track, Elsa will make landfall along the north Florida Gulf coast by late this morning or this afternoon. The storm should then move across the mid-Atlantic United States through Thursday. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph with higher gusts. Weakening will begin after Elsa moves inland later today. However, tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles from the center.

FOX 4 FORECASTER LAUREN PETRELLI

TORNADO WATCH: A Tornado Watch has been issued to all of Southwest Florida until 8 AM.

UPDATE 7/6/21 5 AM:

Elsa is moving toward the north near 14 mph and a general northward motion is expected to continue through this afternoon. On the forecast track, Elsa will move near or over portions of the west coast of Florida this morning, then make landfall along the north Florida Gulf coast by late this morning or this afternoon. The storm should then move across the southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States through Thursday. Maximum sustained winds are now near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts. Some fluctuations in the intensity are possible until landfall later today. Weakening will begin after Elsa moves inland. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles from the center.

FOX 4 FORECASTER LAUREN PETRELLI

UPDATE 7/6/21 2 AM

Elsa has weakened back to a tropical storm. Heavy rain will continue overnight across SWFL but the wind and tornado threat will die down overnight. Storms will continue to feed into the area on Wednesday with a continuing threat for heavy rainfall. The storm will move into GA by Wednesday afternoon and the Carolinas Thursday.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/6/21 11 PM

Elsa maintains hurricane status as it continues north. It is located just west of the Sarasota Co. coast. Very heavy rainfall continues across the area with a particularly heavy rain band sitting on top of Englewood and Rotunda. Tornado threat continues overnight. Tornado Watch has been extended until 8 AM. Conditions will improve overnight with lingering showers and storms continuing into Wednesday.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/6/21 8 PM

Elsa regains hurricane status as it heads north a little faster at 14 mph. The strongest winds are still expected to avoid SWFL but tropical storm force winds extend outward nearly 100 mi from the center. The storm is expected to accelerate northward and move out of the area by early Wednesday morning. The threat for heavy rain, isolated tornadoes, gusty winds will continue through tonight.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/6/21 5 PM

Elsa still has winds of 70 mph despite the surface pressure dropping to 998 mb. Tropical storm force winds extend outward to 70 mi from the center. This means that with the tropical storm force wind field will affect mainly coastal Collier, coastal and inland Lee & Charlotte and Sarasota Co. Tornado threat will continue through tonight before decreasing as the center of circulation moves north of our area and winds turn out of the southwest. Rain chances will decrease later tonight as well.

The strongest winds will be north of our area closer to the Tampa Bay area based on the latest track.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/6/21 2 PM

Tropical Storm Elsa is picking up strength with 70 mph winds but expected to strengthen to a category 1 hurricane later this afternoon or evening. It is moving north at 9 mph towards Southwest Gulf Coast. Strong winds, heavy rain bands and isolated tornado's will continue to be a threat through tonight. The next cone update will be at 5 PM.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST CINDY PRESZLER

UPDATE 7/6/21 11 AM

Tropical Storm Elsa is now located 65 miles WNW of Key West with maximum sustained wind of 60 mph and continues to move to the NNW at 10 mph. Rain continues to move into Southwest Florida with at least 3-6 inches expected. The greatest amount of rain will be in coastal Lee and Charlotte Counties. The worst conditions in Collier County will be early this afternoon with the worst in Lee County in the middle and latter part of the afternoon and in Charlotte County late afternoon and evening. Elsa will be around 75 miles offshore of SWFL with tropical storm force wind extending around 70 miles outside of it's center. There could be isolated tornadoes as well throughout the day.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/6/21 8 AM

Tropical Storm Elsa continues to pack wind of 60 mph as it moves to the NNW at 12 mph. Central pressure remains at 1007 mb. Elsa is located 55 miles west of Key West and will continue to move NNW until later this evening before turning to the north and then NNE into the Big Bend of Florida Wednesday morning. Elsa could strengthen a bit as it moves offshore throughout the day, but is expected to stay below hurricane strength.

Rain bands continue to move into SWFL with steadier rain along coastal Collier County from Marco Island toward mainland Monroe County. Heavy rain and strong wind will move south to north throughout the morning and afternoon with the most impact from Elsa occurring during the middle part of the afternoon with tropical storm force wind, 1-3 foot storm surge, and several inches of rain. Isolated tornadoes are possible all across our area today.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/6/21 5 AM

Tropical Storm Elsa remains at 60 mph, but now has started to turn to the NNW at 12 mph. Rain bands have started coming in to Southwest Florida and there was a possible tornado around 430 this morning in the Clewiston area. As rain bands continue to come in to SWFL there is the possibility of isolated tornadoes which is common with a tropical system.

Wind and rain will increase later this morning into this afternoon with the greatest impact occuring mid to late afternoon when Elsa will be as close to SWFL as it will get. Tropical storm force wind extends 70 miles from Elsa's center and is expected to move 75-100 miles offshore of SWFL so the greatest chance of tropical storm force wind will be in coastal Lee and Charlotte Counties. Tropical storm force wind gusts could be felt west of I-75 today. Rainfall amounts of 3-5 inches are possible with locally higher amounts.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/6/21 2 AM

Elsa still has winds of 60 mph and is moving NNW at 12. The storm will approach the SWFL coast Tuesday afternoon. Any slight deviations to the right will bring the center closer to the coast and increase the threat for stronger winds at the coast and further inland. It appears that some of the forecast models have shifted back to the east a tad, so a track closer to the coast is not out of the question. These trends will be watched overnight into Tuesday morning. The tornado threat is still expected to increase through the morning as the wind shear profiles become more favorable for rotating storms.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/5/21 11 PM

Elsa is now back over water and is headed toward the Florida Keys. Winds are back up to 60 mph. Pressure is down to 1007 mb. No changes have been made to the previous track. Impacts remain the same for SWFL. We will be watching for additional strengthening tonight into Tuesday.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/5/21 8 PM

Elsa continues to cross Cuba but is expected to move off the northern coast in a few hours. Max winds remain at 50 as of 8pm. Tropical Storm Warnings remain in effect from coastal Collier Co. northward to the Nature Coast. The tornado threat will increase later tonight as low-level wind shear increases ahead of the storm. The worst weather will begin Tuesday morning and continue through the day with breezy to windy conditions and locally heavy rainfall that could lead to some flooding.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/5/21 5PM

Tropical Storm Elsa is now located over Western Cuba. Being on land, Elsa has weakened as we expected. Maximum sustained wind is down to 50 mph as it moves to the northwest at 14 mph. Minimum central pressure has risen again to 1008 mb.

Hurricane hunters will investigate Elsa later this evening once it emerges into the Florida Straights. Some restrengthening could occur although it will be limited due to wind shear. Rain and wind will start Tuesday morning with the worst weather in SWFL arriving by the middle of the afternoon.

A storm surge warning has been issued for Bonita Beach northward for possible 1-3 foot surge. Several inches of rain and isolated tornadoes are possible with Elsa although most of the tropical storm force wind field will stay offshore as the cone again has shifted west. However, tropical storm force wind gusts are possible west of US 41 Tuesday.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/5/21 2PM

Tropical Storm Elsa is making landfall on the south coast of Cuba which has weakened the storm. Maximum sustained wind is 60 mph as it continues to move to the northwest at 14 mph. Further weakening is possible as Elsa moves across Cuba. Elsa could strengthen a bit in the Florida Straights and offshore of SWFL, but wind shear will keep Elsa from becoming a hurricane. Tropical storm force wind extends only 70 miles from the center of circulation and is currently forecast to be 75-125 miles offshore of SWFL.

Expect wind and rain to start Tuesday morning with the strongest conditions occurring Tuesday afternoon before Elsa pulls away late Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Flood watches are in effect for Lee, Collier, and Charlotte Counties as 3-5 inches of rain is expected especially north of the river. Isolated tornadoes are possible and storm surge of 1-3 feet are possible from Bonita beach northward. The next advisory and cone update will be issued at 5 pm.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/5/21 11AM

Not much change in Tropical Storm Elsa with this update, but once again the cone has shifted to the west. The good news is all of Southwest Florida is out of the cone! This doesn't mean we are out of the woods. In fact, it looks like tropical storm force wind may only impact the Lee County Islands as well as coastal Charlotte County. Tropical storm force wind gusts may be felt to the west of I-75. Storm surge still possible from Bonita Beach northward of 1 to 3 feet are possible. It looks like rainfall amounts south of the Caloosahatchee River of 2-3 inches with 3-5 inches possible to its north. Isolated tornadoes are possible even though Elsa will be well offshore of Southwest Florida.

Elsa will be moving over Cuba later today which should weaken the storm a bit. Only slight strengthening is expected as it makes its way through the Florida Straights and west of Southwest Florida. The worst conditions would occur Tuesday afternoon when Elsa will be as close to SWFL as it will get.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/5/21 8AM

No major changes with the 8AM intermediate advisory. Maximum sustained winds are still at 65 mph as the storm is now 55 miles ESE of Cayo Largo Cuba.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center. The minimum central pressure estimated from Hurricane Hunter observations is 1006 mb.

Next full advisory is at 11AM.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 7/5/21 5AM

A Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect from Flamingo north through Englewood. A Tropical Storm Warning is issued when sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph or higher associated with a tropical cyclone are expected in 36 hours or less. These winds may be accompanied by storm surge, coastal flooding, and/or river flooding.

At 5:00 AM, the center of Tropical Storm Elsa is located just south of Cuba and is moving toward the northwest near 14 mph. This general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the north-northwest on Tuesday. On the forecast track, Elsa is expected to move across central and western Cuba later today and pass near the Florida Keys early Tuesday. Elsa is then forecast to move near or over portions of the west coast of Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday.

It is Tuesday that southwest Florida will feel the greatest impacts with winds over 40mph, heavy rain, surge along the coast and isolated tornadoes.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 65 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is possible before Elsa moves over Cuba later today, followed by some weakening while the center moves over land. Slight restrengthening is forecast after Elsa moves over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1004 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 7/5/21 2AM

The center of Tropical Storm Elsa is moving toward the northwest near 15 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the north-northwest on Tuesday. On the forecast track, Elsa is expected to move across central and western Cuba later today and head toward the Florida Straits tonight, and pass near the Florida Keys early Tuesday. Elsa is then forecast to move near or over portions of the west coast of Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds remain near 65 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is possible before Elsa moves over Cuba later today, followed by some weakening while the center moves over land. Slight restrengthening is possible after Elsa moves over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1004 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 7/4/21 11PM

Tropical Storm Elsa has strengthened just a bit with maximum sustained wind of 65 mph even though Elsa looks ragged and disorganized. It is still moving to the northwest at 15 mph with central pressure not much different than earlier today - at 1004 mb. The one big difference is the cone. All of Collier and part of Lee county are no longer in the cone as once again it has shifted a bit to the west. The track of Elsa remains the same with a northwest motion bringing it into Cuba Monday afternoon. Wind shear and land interaction should weaken Elsa before moving into the Florida Straights and Eastern Gulf. A tropical storm warning has been issued for coastal Collier County. Tropical storm watches continue for all of Lee and Charlotte Counties with storm surge watches in effect from Bonita Beach northward.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/4/21 8PM

Tropical Storm Elsa is slightly moving faster to the northwest at 15 mph. Maximum sustained wind hasn't changed and is still at 60 mph. Elsa's central pressure has lowered to 1005 mb despite how disorganized it looks on infrared satellite. Elsa is expected to make landfall in western Cuba Monday and is not likely to strengthen much more if any before that. Land interaction will weaken Elsa and wind shear should keep the storm from significant strengthening over the Florida straights and Eastern Gulf. Elsa will be as close to SWFL Tuesday early afternoon with tropical storm force winds/gusts possible on Tuesday. Tropical storm watches continue to be in effect for all of Lee and Charlotte Counties as well as coastal Collier County. Storm surge watches are in effect from Bonita Beach northward where 1-3 feet of surge is possible. The next advisory and cone update will be at 11 pm.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/4/21 5PM

Elsa continues to look ragged and disorganized on infrared satellite thanks to strong wind shear in the area and the blockage of low level inflow from Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola surrounding it. Maximum sustained wind remains at 60 mph as Elsa continues to move to the northwest at 14 mph. Elsa will keep this northwesterly motion until late Monday or early Tuesday when it moves around the western edge of the subtropical high. Then it will turn to the north and eventually northeast Wednesday. Central pressure is still very high at 1009 mb. Further strengthening is not expected before reaching Cuba Monday. Some weakening should occur Monday. Wind shear in the Eastern Gulf Tuesday should keep Elsa from becoming any stronger than it is now.

The latest cone update appears to be further west by just a bit, but the timing looks to be later in the afternoon Tuesday in regards to when Elsa will be as close as it gets to SWFL. Tropical storm watches have been issued for all of Lee and Collier Counties and storm surge watches have been issued from Bonita beach northward toward Tampa. Right now it looks like the maximum storm surge would be 1 to 3 feet in Lee and Charlotte counties.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/4/21 2PM

Elsa still looks rather ragged on satellite imagery with a very high pressure for such a strong storm. Central pressure remains at 1009 mb as not much has changed since the last advisory. It is now moving to the northwest at 14 mph and should continue this path through Monday and into Tuesday before it moves to the north. Tuesday will be where Elsa comes as close to SWFL as it will get. Right now Tropical storm force wind is located 115 miles to the east of the center and the current forecast track has Elsa around 100 miles offshore of SWFL. Conditions should deteriorate late Monday night and into Tuesday with tropical storm force wind possible along our coast. Tropical storm watches are still in effect for coastal Collier County. The next full advisory and cone update will be issued at 5 pm.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/4/21 11 AM

Winds are down to 60 mph and the pressure has risen to 1009 mb indicating more slight weakening. The storm will approach Cuba on Monday before emerging in the Florida Straits Tuesday morning. The storm is not expected to strengthen as it draws closer to Florida and the forecast track still has it about 100-150 mi offshore from SWFL as it passes by.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/4/21 8 AM

No changes with this advisory with winds at 65 mph and the pressure at 1007 mb.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/4/21 5 AM

Elsa maintains winds of 65 mph and is approaching Jamaica and eastern Cuba. Forecast track remains mostly unchanged, with arrival on the FL west coast Tuesday through early Wednesday before the storm accelerates northeast to the Carolinas by Thurday.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/4/21 2 AM

Elsa has slowed down even more with its forward speed now down to 14 mph. It is approaching Jamaica at the present time and will pass close to the island tonight through Sunday then head to Cuba. We are still expecting tropical storm conditions in SWFL on Tuesday, possibly as early as late Monday.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/3/21 8PM

Tropical Storm Elsa has slowed down significantly to 23 mph although it is still moving to the WNW. Maximum sustained wind hasn't changed as it is still at 70 mph. Central pressure has lowered a bit to 998 mb. Elsa is moving between Haiti and Jamaica and will continue toward Cuba before making landfall early Monday morning. Infrared satellite looks a little better with deep convection wrapping around its center. Most models continue to take Elsa just to the west of SWFL sometime Tuesday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles mainly to the north of the center. A Tropical storm watch has been issued for the Florida Keys from Craig Key westward to the Dry Tortugas. The next full advisory and cone update will be at 11 pm.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/3/21 5PM

Tropical Storm Elsa still looks rather ragged on infrared satellite although minimum central pressure has lowered to 1000 mb. Maximum sustained wind remains at 70 mph and the movement is the same as well. Elsa is moving to the WNW at 28 mph. Elsa is close to Haiti which could be part of why it looks so disorganized. It is experiencing NW wind shear which will continue over the next couple days. Again Elsa is moving so fast that the low and mid level circulation are not aligned which further prevents Elsa from strengthening.

Once Elsa moves toward a weakness in the subtropical ridge, it will turn more to the northwest and eventually impact Cuba which would weaken Elsa even more. Then Elsa will emerge into the eastern Gulf of Mexico and possibly strengthen a bit, but still be well below hurricane status. Elsa will be as close to SWFL as it will get sometime around noon Tuesday, but models continue to move westward and there is a high variability among them. A Tropical storm watch has been issued for the Florida Keys from Craig Key westward to the Dry Tortugas.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/3/21 2PM

Tropical Storm Elsa is now located just to the south of the peninsula of Haiti with maximum sustained wind of 70 mph. This has not changed since the last advisory, but what has changed once again is central pressure. It has risen all the way to 1002 mb which shows further signs of weakening. It continues to barrel through the Caribbean at 29 mph to the WNW. Elsa will move near Jamaica and the eastern portions of Cuba Sunday and into Cuba Monday. It will then turn to the northwest and enter either the Florida straights or the eastern Gulf of Mexico. If Elsa holds together it could bring tropical storm conditions to SWFL early Tuesday which appears to be the time Elsa will be closest to our area. Again there are still uncertainties among the models in regards to where Elsa will move and how strong it will be when it gets closer to us. The next full advisory and cone update will be at 5 pm.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/3/21 11 AM

Elsa's satellite presentation has looked terrible throughout the morning as it battles its fast forward motion and the subsequent wind shear it is creating. The storm now has winds of 70 mph. It is forecast to move across Cuba on Sunday, then approach southwest Florida on Tuesday. Tropical storm conditions are looking increasingly likely on Tuesday as the storm approaches and moves through the area. The threat for some storm surge, flooding from heavy rainfall, tornadoes and modest winds does exist. More specific details on what we can expect will become more clear once it moves over Cuba and gets back into the warm waters of the southeast Gulf.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/3/21 8 AM

Winds remain at 75 mph. Pressure is now up to 999 mb indicating weakening continues. I would not be surprised to see this downgraded to a tropical storm with the 11 AM Advisory as it is encountering shear due to it being pulled into two different directions due to low and mid-level winds coming from different directions. This is essentially causing the storm's low level center to be offset from the mid-level portion of the storm and it will NOT strengthen with that structure. I do not see this changing through the day and of course it has yet to interact with land which will likely weaken it even more.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/3/21 5 AM

Elsa continues to weaken this morning with winds down another 5 mph. The storm is expected to move north toward Cuba then eventually pass just offshore of the SWFL coast by Tuesday of next week as a tropical storm. Land interaction with Cuba will likely disrupt the storm and make it difficult to restrengthen once it moves out into the Gulf. The overall forecast and thinking has not changed. Expect weather to go downhill by late Monday through Tuesday before improving on Wednesday.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 7/2/21 11PM

Hurricane Elsa did look rather ragged on infrared satellite and has officially weakened since the last update. It is still a category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained wind of 29 mph. Drier air has entered the mid levels of Elsa which is the reason why convection has decreased over the past several hours. Again Elsa's track is expected to remain to the WNW and eventually make landfall over Cuba and then move toward South Florida or the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The cone hasn't changed all that much and still puts Elsa to the west of SWFL sometime early Tuesday afternoon. The next full advisory and cone update will be at 5 am.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/2/21 8PM

Hurricane Elsa continues to hold on to category 1 status with maximum sustained wind of 85 mph. It is still moving quickly to the WNW at 30 mph. Minimum central pressure has risen substantially over the past 3 hours to 995 mb which appears to be signs of weakening. You can see the ragged storm on infrared satellite with dry air on the western side of the storm. Convection has shrunk over the past few hours although it looks like its starting to fire up around Elsa's center.

The forecast cone does include SWFL, but there are a lot of variables such as wind shear and land interaction so the forecast models spread over a several hundred mile area once the storm moves past Cuba. Follow us on air and online at fox4now.com for your latest updates. The next advisory and cone update will be at 11 pm.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/2/21 5PM

Hurricane Elsa hasn't changed much over the past couple hours, but is now moving even faster at 30 mph. It is still a category 1 storm with maximum sustained wind of 85 mph with central pressure of 991 mb which is unchanged since the last advisory. This shows that Elsa is not showing any signs of strengthening, but holding its own. There is some dry air that is being pulled in to the west side of the storm.

The middle part of the storm is not vertically aligned with the surface due to its fast forward speed. This could cause Elsa to become a bit more disorganized. Elsa could strengthen or hold its own the next day or so, but forecast models are showing increasing wind shear which could weaken the storm after Saturday. Also land interaction with Cuba should weaken the storm as well. Even the GFS model has substantially weakened Elsa heading into next week, but again we will continue to monitor Elsa as it looks like it could move into the Eastern Gulf, close to SWFL.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/2/21 2PM

Elsa has continued to strengthen despite its fast forward motion of 29 mph. It is still a category 1 storm with maximum sustained wind of 85 mph as it moves to the WNW. Central pressure has lowered to 991 mb showing signs of further strengthening. It has moved into the eastern Caribbean and is expected to continue toward Cuba. It will interact with Cuba which is expected to weaken the system into a tropical storm.

Forecast models are still spread out between the Yucatan and the Bahamas so even though SWFL is in the cone it is uncertain where Elsa will go as we head in to next week. GFS takes Elsa to our west on Tuesday while the European model takes a weaker Elsa much further to the east. The next cone update will be at 5 pm. Watch for updates on air and online at fox4now.com

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/2/21 11:00AM

No major changes in the 11AM advisory. Elsa maintains hurricane status and Southwest Florida still in the cone early next week with a tropical storm forecast to be in the vicinity Tuesday. At this time it is impossible to know the exact impacts we could see due to the high uncertainty in both the track and intensity forecasts,

Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours. Some decrease in winds is possible on Monday as Elsa interacts with Cuba.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles. The Hewanorra Airport on St. Lucia recently reported sustained winds of 46 mph and a wind gust of 79 mph.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 995 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 7/2/21 8:30AM

TRACKING HURRICANE ELSA LIVE

The National Hurricane Center has released a special full advisory at 8:30AM to reflect the increase in wind speed and Hurricane Elsa becoming the first hurricane of the 2021 season.
The forecast calls for Elsa to stay a weak category 1 hurricane on its way toward Haiti and Cuba in the days ahead. No major changes on the forecast track for southwest Florida early next week.
It is still to early to tell what types of impacts we will see.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

SPECIAL UPDATE 7/2/21 7:45 AM

Elsa has strengthened into the first hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. 7:45AM this morning the National Hurricane Center issued a special update as winds greater than 74mph were recorded in Barbados.

A special advisory will be issued within the hour in place of the normal intermediate advisory. The Meteorological Service of Barbados has issued Hurricane Warning for Barbados, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines. The Meteorological Service of St. Lucia has issued a Hurricane Warning for St. Lucia. The Meteorological Service of Barbados reported a sustained wind of 74 mph and a gust to 86 mph.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 7/2/21 5 AM

Elsa continues to rapidly move west toward the Windward Islands. It is moving WNW at a blistering 28mph. The storm is 70 miles form Barbados and has strengthened. It now has maximum sustained winds near 60 mph with gusts of 70 mph.

The WNW motion is expected to continue during the next couple of days. On the forecast track, Elsa will pass near or over portions of the Windward Islands or the southern Leeward Islands this morning, move across the eastern Caribbean Sea late today and tonight, and move near the southern coast of Hispaniola on Saturday. By Sunday, Elsa is forecast to move near Jamaica and portions of eastern Cuba.

After this point there is a lot of uncertainty in the forecast both with track and intensity. The interaction with the mountainous terrain of Cuba could significantly disrupt and possible weaken the storm as it starts to make a turn toward the NNW Monday and Tuesday toward south Florida. Regarding track, the European model has the storm as far east as the Bahamas and the GFS and UKMET more to the west off the west coast of Florida. We will have to monitor this storm closely in the days ahead as it is simply to early to know exactly what type of impacts we could see here in southwest Florida.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1001 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 7/1/21 11PM

Tropical Storm Elsa looks better on infrared satellite and is becoming much more symmetric which shows signs of strengthening. Maximum sustained wind has increased to 50 mph and forward motion has slowed down a bit, but its still a fast moving storm at 26 mph to the WNW. Central pressure has lowered to 1003 mb again showing signs of strengthening despite its quick forward motion. Elsa will continue to move quickly along the south side of a subtropical ridge toward the Lesser Antilles and into the Caribbean.

Saharan dust is now well to the north of its center which is helping the storm with much higher cloud tops and plenty of moisture around the center of circulation. Forecast models are still scattered days 4 to 7 with some taking Elsa to the Eastern Gulf and others taking this off the east coast of Florida. There is still a lot of variables and uncertainties with this track. Stay tuned to Fox 4 on air and online at fox4now.com for your latest updates.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/1/21 5PM

Tropical Storm Elsa hasn't changed much since the last advisory with maximum sustained wind of 45 mph. Elsa continues to move very quickly to the WNW at 29 mph. With such a high forward speed there could be a separation between the upper and lower part of the storm. If this happens it will be hard for Elsa to strengthen much more.

It is in an environment of low vertical wind shear and warm water temperatures so Elsa could strengthen a bit more, but Elsa is expected to stay below hurricane status throughout the weekend and into next week.

The forecast track has moved further west, but some models have Elsa turn northward early as a break in the subtropical ridge is expected. We will have continuous updates on air and online.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 7/1/21 11 AM

Tropical Storm Elsa continues to move toward the west near 28 mph. This system is expected to pick up speed and slightly strengthen over the next 24 to 48 hours. The system is on track to reach to the coast of Hispaniola on Saturday and portions of Cuba by Sunday. Elsa is expected to bring heavy wind and rain to the islands. Our area still remains in the forecast cone but Elsa is in its early stages of development. This is something we'll continue to keep our eye on as we head into the holiday weekend.

FOX 4 FORECASTER LAUREN PETRELLI

TRACKING TROPICAL STORM ELSA LIVE

UPDATE 7/1/21 8 AM

Elsa continues to rapidly move west toward the Windward Islands. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 mb.

FOX MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 7/1/21 5 AM

Tropical Storm Elsa has formed 865 miles away from the Windward Islands.
Elsa is the earliest we have ever seen the 5th storm in a hurricane season. This breaks the record set just last year in 2020 by Edouard.

Elsa is moving toward the west near 25 mph. The storm is expected to move even faster to the west-northwest over the next 24 to 36 hours. On the forecast track, the system 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.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 105 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 mb.

FOX MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 6/30/21 11 PM

PTC 5 is now officially Tropical Depression 5. ASCAT scatterometer data determined a closed but elongated area of low pressure had formed and it is now officially a tropical cyclone. It is moving quickly west at 23 mph. This fast forward motion will likely limit intensification in the near-term. Other facts are working in favor of strengthening such as low wind shear and a moist atmosphere as well as very warm water temperatures. The forecast track has now been shifted a bit east with the cone of uncertainty over all of South Florida.

There remains a large spread in the forecast model tracks past this weekend with a lot of uncertainty as to how the storm behave if land interaction with the Greater Antilles occurs. The storm will steer itself around the western edge of a high pressure ridge over the Atlantic, which will weaken due to influence from a trough of low pressure this weekend. This will be key in when the north turn occurs. Still time to watch but prepare in advance for potential inconveniences next week.

FOX CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 6/30/21 5PM

Invest 97L has now become Potential Tropical Cyclone Five. Convection has become better organized over the past few hours, but circulation is elongated, which means NHC cannot call this a tropical depression as of yet. This is expected to change tonight or Thursday as PTC #5 should become Tropical Storm Elsa.

As this system rides along the south side of a strong subtropical ridge it will continue to move around 20 mph to the west and northwest. Upper level wind will continue to be favorable as it moves into the Caribbean so it should hold on to tropical storm status. It may have land interaction with Hispaniola and/or Cuba which could weaken the storm briefly.

Right now the consensus of the models takes the storm west of SWFL into the eastern Gulf, but there are a lot of uncertainties as the storm is still far away. We will continue to monitor and give updates as needed.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

FIRST UPDATE 6/30/21 10 AM

A stronger tropical wave behind Invest 95L has garnered increasing attention in the last 24 hours. Invest 97L, located east of the Lesser Antilles has a HIGH chance for development in 5 days. Conditions look favorable for further development as it moves west toward the Caribbean.

The GFS forecast model is bullish on developing the system into a tropical storm by early next week. Track forecasts are uncertain at this point. Future intensity is also uncertain as it will likely deal with land interaction as it moves through the Caribbean depending on the track. A lower latitude track will take it deeper into the Caribbean and may avoid interaction with Hispaniola and Cuba altogether.

There are still too many uncertainties with the future forecast but it does look impressive on satellite with the classic "circular saw" cloud pattern and visible rotation at least in the mid-levels.

A pass of the ASCAT radiometer, which measures winds from satellite using cloud movement shows the system has not yet closed off into an area of low pressure. However, given the favorable conditions it will be moving into in the coming days, I do expect a tropical system to develop by this weekend.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

TRACKING THE TROPICS: Hurricane Center | Creating a disaster-preparedness plan for your pets

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HURRICANE TERMS TO KNOW

Tropical Storm WATCH: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.

Tropical Storm WARNING: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.

Hurricane WATCH: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Hurricane WARNING: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.