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Tracking Hurricane Elsa (LINK Continually Updates )

We’re tracking Hurricane Elsa this holiday weekend for potential impacts to South Florida on Monday and Tuesday.

You can track Elsa via this link from The Weather Channel.  This includes spaghetti models, cone forecasts, current forecasts, and more.

Saturday features a sunny morning with some showers and storms developing during the early to mid-afternoon.  Highs on Saturday will be in the sticky low 90s in the east coast metro area and near 90 degrees along the Gulf coast.

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The Fourth of July will bring lots of sun in the morning with clouds, some showers, and a few storms developing during the mid to late afternoon.  Look for increasingly gusty winds and some storms in portions of the Florida Keys, starting Sunday night.  Sunday’s highs will be in the upper 80s in the east coast metro area and the low 90s along the Gulf coast.

Monday will start with a mix of sun and clouds.  Look for building showers and storms, along with increasingly gusty winds in the afternoon.  Tropical storm conditions are possible in the Keys and along the Gulf coast Monday evening.  Monday’s highs will be in the upper 80s in the east coast metro area and near 90 degrees along the Gulf coast.

Tuesday will see the closest approach of Elsa to South Florida.  Tropical storm conditions are possible, with heavy rain, damaging winds, and storm surge flooding.  Impacts will depend on Elsa’s track and intensity as it nears South Florida.  Tuesday’s highs will be mostly in the mid-80s.

Wednesday’s forecast calls for some sun, more clouds on a strong breeze, and periods of showers and storms.  Highs on Wednesday will be in the upper 80s.

Hurricane Elsa

Hurricane Elsa has weakened a bit early Saturday as it races through the eastern Caribbean.  At 5 am, Elsa was located near 16.2 North, 69.0 West, about 190 miles east-southeast of Isla Beata, Dominican Republic, and 530 miles east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica.  Maximum sustained winds were 75 miles per hour, and Elsa was zipping west-northwest at 31 miles per hour (incredibly fast for a hurricane in the Caribbean).  A hurricane warning is in effect for portions of the coasts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and for Jamaica.  There’s a hurricane watch for eastern and central Cuba.

Elsa’s track and intensity this weekend will make all the difference for South Florida.  Interactions with Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Cuba could weaken the hurricane.  But if Elsa’s core stays over water, some strengthening is possible in the very warm Caribbean waters.  For now, plan for the strong possibility of tropical storm conditions for at least portions of our area, beginning on Monday evening and extending into Tuesday.  Make sure to check on Elsa’s progress regularly this weekend, and be ready to secure or bring in outdoor items by Sunday night.

Donna Thomas has studied hurricanes for two decades. She holds a PhD in history when her experience with Hurricane Andrew ultimately led her to earn a degree in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University. Donna spent 15 years at WFOR-TV (CBS4 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale), where she worked as a weather producer with hurricane experts Bryan Norcross and David Bernard. She also produced hurricane specials and weather-related features and news coverage, as well as serving as pool TV producer at the National Hurricane Center during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Donna also served as a researcher on NOAA's Atlantic Hurricane Database Reanalysis Project. Donna specializes in Florida's hurricane history.

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