English English Spanish Español
Powered by WUFT
Temporarily change filter
Finding your station
THIS STORY HAS EXPIRED

Elsa Weakens; Likely To Bring Flood Concerns To Florida Starting Monday

Elsa weakened to a tropical storm less than 50 miles south of the coast of the Dominican Republic Saturday morning.

Elsa is rapidly churning west-northwestward through the Caribbean, where conditions were expected to deteriorate along the southern coast of Hispaniola Saturday. The mountainous terrain of the island is likely to enhance rainfall totals in spite of the storm's fast forward motion. Rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches, with locally higher amounts in excess of one foot, are likely to cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Similar rainfall amounts are possible Sunday into Monday in Jamaica and Cuba.

NO CURRENT STORMS IN ATLANTIC BASIN

The storm's forward motion has been occasionally in excess of 30 mph from the flow around a strong high pressure ridge over the subtropical Atlantic Ocean. Such a fast motion makes it difficult for Elsa's circulation near the ocean's surface to be vertically aligned with its mid-level circulation some 10,000 to 15,000 feet above the ocean. There is also some wind shear from the northwest which is preventing the storm from intensifying. 

Elsa is forecast to reach the outer skirts of the high pressure ridge on Sunday. As it does so, its forward motion is expected to slow down considerably, perhaps at half the speed it is moving on Saturday. Meanwhile, a strong trough of low pressure is moving off the Southeast coast of the United States. This trough is responsible for a front slipping unusually far south into North Florida for early July. The trough will leave behind what is called a "weakness" in the subtropical ridge. Tropical storms and hurricanes move toward the path of least resistance -- toward these weaknesses in the flow. That will cause Elsa to turn more toward the north, in the general direction of the Florida Peninsula early this upcoming week.

This forecast path will take Elsa near or directly over the high terrain of Hispaniola and eastern Cuba, in particular. Elsa's core circulation is small, so it is highly susceptible to weakening if it interacts with this rugged terrain, which is becoming increasingly probable. 

Regardless of Elsa's precise strength, heavy rainfall is becoming more likely over the Florida Peninsula and Big Bend starting on Monday and lasting until midweek. Rainfall totals of 2 to 5 inches, with locally higher amounts, may fall near the path of Elsa. Since many areas are already receiving heavy rain this weekend from a cold front, there will be a heightened risk of flash flooding. If Elsa does not spend as much time over the islands of the Caribbean or is able to move over the Gulf of Mexico, it may also be able to produce tropical storm force winds over parts of the state.

HHeavy rainfall may spread as far north as coastal Georgia and the eastern Carolinas Wednesday and Thursday as the storm accelerates toward the northeast.

LOCAL ALERTS
WEATHER
NEWS
TRAFFIC
Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

1885 Stadium Road
PO Box 118405
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 392-5551

A service of WUFT at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications 

Partners of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network include: Florida's Division of Emergency Management, WDNA (Miami), WFIT (Melbourne), WMFE (Orlando), WFSU (Tallahassee), WGCU (Fort Myers), WJCT (Jacksonville), WKGC (Panama City), WLRN (Miami), WMNF (Tampa-Sarasota), WQCS (Fort Pierce), WUFT (Gainesville-Ocala), WUSF (Tampa), WUWF (Pensacola) and Florida Public Media.

Loading...
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram