MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Elsa has strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane as it nears the Lesser Antilles.
At 8:30 a.m., the center of the storm was located 40 miles west of Barbados.
Elsa was moving toward the west-northwest near 28 mph with sustained winds of 75 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.
On the forecast track, Elsa will pass near or over portions of the Windward Islands or the southern Leeward Islands Friday morning, move across the eastern Caribbean Sea late Friday, and move near the southern coast of Hispaniola on Saturday. By Sunday, Elsa is forecast to move near Jamaica and portions of eastern Cuba.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:
- St. Vincent
- The Grenadines
- St. Lucia
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
Southern portion of Haiti from Port Au Prince to the southern
border with the Dominican Republic
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- The southern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the border with Haiti
- The entire coast of Haiti
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- Grenada and its dependencies
- Saba and Sint Eustatius
Elsa is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain, with some areas getting up to 10 inches, today across the Windward
and southern Leeward Islands, including Barbados. This rain may lead to isolated flash flooding and mudslides.
Portions of southern Hispaniola and Jamaica could see 4 to 8 inches of rain, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches, Saturday into Sunday.
South Florida is also included in the forecast track so we will need to closely watch it over the weekend.
For now, Elsa is not expected to be a hurricane threat to South Florida. Its closest approach would be next Monday into Tuesday but it is still too soon to say what, if any impacts, we will see.
We all need to remain alert and aware.