Elsa Becomes First Hurricane Of Season

July 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

Elsa – the 5th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season — has strengthened to become the first hurricane of the year.

The latest forecast from the U.S. National Hurricane Center said, “At 1100 AM AST [1500 UTC], the center of Hurricane Elsa was located near latitude 13.4 North, longitude 61.2 West. Elsa is moving toward the west-northwest near 29 mph [46 km/h], and this motion is expected to continue during the next couple of days, with some decrease in forward speed expected Sunday night.

“On the forecast track, Elsa will move away from the Windward Islands during the next several hours, move across the eastern Caribbean Sea later today and tonight, and move near the southern coast of Hispaniola late Saturday or Saturday night. By Sunday, Elsa is forecast to move near Jamaica and portions of eastern Cuba, and move near portions of central and western Cuba Sunday night and early Monday.

“Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph [120 km/h] 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 [35 km] from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles [220 km]. The Hewanorra Airport on St. Lucia recently reported sustained winds of 46 mph [74 km/h] and a wind gust of 79 mph [127 km/h]. The estimated minimum central pressure is 995 mb [29.39 inches].”

Graphic courtesy of the NHC:

NHC Hurricane Elsa July 2 2021

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