MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Elsa has regained hurricane status southwest of Tampa Bay. A reconnaissance aircraft is on the way to investigate.
As of the 8 p.m. advisory, the center of Elsa is located about 100 miles south-southwest of Tampa.
Elsa’s maximum sustained winds were up to 75 mph as it moved to the north at 14 mph.
A Tornado Watch is in effect for all of South Florida, the Florida Keys, parts of Central Florida and the state’s west coast until 11 p.m.
At a Tuesday morning news conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis urged people in the central and northern parts of the state, along with much of the west coast, to prepare for heavy rain, gusty wind, and storm surge from Tropical Storm Elsa.
Elsa is expected to 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 Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.
Elsa is forecast to make landfall along the north Florida Gulf coast by late Wednesday morning and then move across the southeastern United States through Thursday.
Some additional slight strengthening will be possible overnight. Weakening will begin after Elsa moves inland by late Wednesday morning.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:
- West coast of Florida from Bonita Beach to the Aucilla River, including Tampa Bay
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:
- Egmont Key to the Steinhatchee River, Florida
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- The Dry Tortugas
- West coast of Florida from Flamingo to south of Egmont Key
- West coast of Florida north of Steinhatchee River to Ochlockonee River
- Coast of Georgia from the Mouth of the St. Marys River to Altamaha Sound
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:
- West of the Aucilla River to the Ochlockonee River
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- North of Altamaha Sound, Georgia, to South Santee River, South Carolina
Tropical storm conditions will continue over portions of the warning area in the Florida Keys through Tuesday evening. Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread northward into west-central Florida and the Florida Big Bend region in the warning areas Tuesday night and early Wednesday.
Elsa is the earliest fifth-named storm on record.