Live Event: Tropical Storm Elsa Forms East of Windward Islands
- Elsa is the earliest fifth named storm in Atlantic history: Elsa breaks the earliest record for the “E” storm, set last year when Edouard formed on July 6th. Prior to last season, Emily held the record from 2005, forming on July 12.
- Current official forecast calls for tropical storm impacts over next five days: The official National Hurricane Center forecast calls for Elsa to maintain tropical storm strength over the next five days, with peak winds of up to 65 mph for the central Windward Islands on Friday. Thereafter, potential interaction with Hispaniola and Jamaica is expected on Sunday and Cuba on Monday. Longer term, impacts to Florida cannot be ruled out.
- What would make Elsa a hurricane? Two factors are important with Elsa. The storm is moving rapidly west at 25 mph which limits the ability to intensify. The current forecast calls for multiple land interactions, also limiting strengthening. If Elsa slows down and/or has less land interaction, it is possible Elsa will strengthen into a hurricane during the next five days. The National Hurricane Center intensity forecast is currently on the lower side of model consensus, thus projecting lower wind speeds than multiple models.
What is Next?
- Tropical Storm Warnings: The islands of Barbados, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines are under warnings. No hurricane watches are in effect at this time.
- Monitor the Forecast: Guy Carpenter meteorologists will monitor Elsa. If the forecast strengthens to potential category-1 winds at any landfall in the Caribbean, or longer term in the United States, an update will be issued.
Five day forecast of Elsa progressing through the Caribbean as projected by the Canadian weather model. Source: TropicalTidbits.com.
The five day National Hurricane Center forecast. Source: NHC/NOAA.
Weather model intensity forecasts for Tropical Storm Elsa, with the NHC forecast listed as OFCI; many models are projecting stronger conditions than the current NHC forecast. Source: TropicalTidbits.com
The next update on Tropical Storm Elsa will be issued if the forecast intensity increases to a potential category-1 landfall in the Caribbean, or longer term, for the United States.