Tropical storm Elsa has strengthened and is forecast to become a category 1 hurricane before making landfall in the northern Florida Gulf Coast Wednesday morning.
Here is the latest from the National Hurricane Center.
Elsa is moving toward the north near 10 mph, and a generally northward motion is expected through tonight. A turn toward the north-northeast is expected on Wednesday, followed by a faster northeastward motion by late Thursday. On the forecast track, Elsa will move near or over portions of the west coast of Florida later today through tonight. Elsa is forecast to make landfall along the north Florida Gulf coast Wednesday morning and then move across the southeastern United States through Thursday. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts, and Elsa is forecast to become a hurricane before making landfall. Weakening will begin after Elsa moves inland by late Wednesday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles from the center. Buoy 42023 recently measured a peak 1-minute sustained wind of 67 mph (107 km/h) gusting to 78 mph (126 km/h). The estimated minimum central pressure is 998 mb (29.47 inches). WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected within the Hurricane Warning area on the Florida Gulf coast beginning this evening. Tropical storm conditions will continue over portions of the warning area in the Florida Keys through this evening. Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread northward into west-central Florida and the Florida Big Bend region in the warning areas tonight and early Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Tropical Storm Warning area along the Georgia coast by late Wednesday and are possible in the watch area in Georgia and South Carolina Wednesday night and early Thursday. STORM SURGE: The combination of a storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide... Englewood, FL to Aucilla River including Tampa Bay...3 to 5 ft Bonita Beach, FL to Englewood, FL including Charlotte Harbor...2 to 4 ft Aucilla River to Ochlockonee River...2 to 4 ft Flamingo, FL to Bonita Beach, FL...1 to 3 ft Ochlockonee River to Indian Pass...1 to 2 ft Mouth of St. Marys River to South Santee River, SC...1 to 2 ft Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. RAINFALL: Across portions of Cuba through tonight, outer bands south of Elsa will produce an additional 1 to 3 inches of rainfall. Isolated storm totals of 15 inches are expected, which will maintain areas of significant flash flooding and mudslides through tonight. Elsa is expected to produce the following rainfall amounts and impacts this week: Across the Florida Keys into southwest and western portions of the Florida Peninsula...3 to 6 inches with localized maximum totals up to 9 inches through Wednesday, which may result in considerable flash and urban flooding, along with minor to isolated moderate river flooding. Across the rest of Florida...2 to 4 inches with localized maximum totals up to 6 inches through Wednesday night, which may result in considerable isolated flash and urban flooding along with minor to isolated moderate river flooding. Across portions of southeast Georgia and the Lowcountry of South Carolina, 3 to 5 inches with isolated maximum totals up to 8 inches will be possible, which may result in considerable flash and urban flooding. Across coastal portions of North Carolina into southeastern Virginia...1 to 3 inches with isolated totals up to 5 inches Wednesday night through Thursday night, which could lead to isolated flash and urban flooding. TORNADOES: A few tornadoes are possible through tonight across the Florida Peninsula. The tornado threat will continue on Wednesday across north Florida, southeast Georgia, and the Lowcountry of South Carolina. The tornado threat should shift to the eastern Carolinas and far southeast Virginia on Thursday. SURF: Swells will spread northward across portions of the Florida Keys and the west coast of Florida through early Wednesday. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.