According to the latest advisory from the National Weather Service (NWS), the tropical cyclone Elsa that travelled on the west coast of Florida on Tuesday night has returned to a Category 1 hurricane.
Hurricane Elsa is about 100 miles southwest of Tampa, west of Fort Myers and Cape Coral. The latest consultation states that Elsa’s maximum sustained wind speed is 75 mph. The tropical storm became Cat 1 at a speed of 74 miles per hour.
Elsa reached Cat 1 status on Friday, then reduced wind speed on Saturday and returned to a tropical storm. The wind speed of the storm dropped to 60 miles per hour, then 50 miles per hour, and then gained greater intensity as it crossed Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday.
As the storm circumvents the Florida coast in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, it may become stronger. Elsa is expected to land somewhere between the Tampa metropolitan area and the Big Bend area of Florida between 8 am and 9 am on Wednesday.
Elsa has killed three people, one in Saint Lucia and the other two in the Dominican Republic. This is the fifth named storm of the 2021 hurricane season, but it is the first storm to truly become a hurricane.
Elsa may touch the ground as a Category 1 storm on Wednesday morning, unless it reaches a sustained wind speed of 96 mph throughout the night and morning before the eye wall touches the land.
Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis On Monday, Elsa issued a state of emergency to 20 counties at risk.
DeSantis said: “Although we continue to provide resources to support Surfside’s response, Elsa’s impact will begin to affect parts of the Florida Keys and southern Florida as early as Monday.”
“All Floridans on the potential path of this storm need to be prepared for the risks of isolated tornadoes, storm surges, heavy rains and flash floods.”
The NWS in Miami has issued a tornado warning for all areas of South Florida, which will expire at 11pm on Tuesday night.
One of the biggest threats in the Tampa/São Paulo area. The metropolis of St. Petersburg is flooding because it is a low-lying area. Category 1 storms usually bring more rain than wind, and the area is located in a geographical area prone to flooding, even during typical summer winds.
The storm is expected to travel northeast through Florida and into Georgia, and then continue north through Carolina, Virginia, and New England.
The tropical season in 2021 is expected to be busier than usual, but not as busy as 2020, when a record 30 named storms formed in the Atlantic Basin.