Tropical Storm Elsa will likely be a hurricane when it hits Florida

Elsa is currently moving north, about 190 miles south of Tampa, at a speed of 9 mph with sustained maximum winds of 70 mph.

click to enlarge According to the National Hurricane Center’s 2 p.m. update, Elsa is currently moving north, about 190 miles south of Tampa, at a speed of 9 mph with sustained maximum winds of 70 mph. - Photo via NHC
Photo via NHC
According to the National Hurricane Center’s 2 p.m. update, Elsa is currently moving north, about 190 miles south of Tampa, at a speed of 9 mph with sustained maximum winds of 70 mph.

Forecasters are now saying Tropical Storm Elsa is expected to be a Category 1 hurricane when it reaches Florida’s West Coast.

According to the National Hurricane Center’s 2 p.m. update, Elsa is currently moving north, about 190 miles south of Tampa, at a speed of 9 mph with sustained maximum winds of 70 mph.

This is just shy of a Category 1 hurricane, but as Elsa moves parallel to the state’s Gulf Coast and eventually makes landfall just north of Tampa Bay, the storm will strengthen to a hurricane, says the NHC.

As of now, Elsa is forecast to make landfall near the Big Bend area at around 2 a.m. on Wednesday. 

There is currently a hurricane warning for most of Florida’s West Coast, from Egmont Key to the Steinhatchee River, including Pinellas County and the coastal areas of Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus counties. 

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from Bonita Beach to the Aucilla River, including the Tampa Bay area.

RELATED: Tampa Bay opens shelters ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa—here’s where they are and how to get in

This afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for 21 Florida counties, including Hillsborough, Pinellas and Manatee.

The NHC is predicting storm surge of 2 to 4 feet along Florida’s Central West coastline to the Panhandle, with 3 to 5 feet along the Big Band area and 1 to 3 feet along the South West Coast and the Keys. 1 to 3 inches of rain is expected in most of the inland parts of the state, with high risk of urban flooding.

RELATED: Here’s where to get free sandbags as Tropical Storm Elsa heads towards Tampa Bay

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About The Author

Colin Wolf

Colin Wolf has been working with weekly newspapers since 2007 and has been the Digital Editor for Creative Loafing Tampa since 2019. He is also the Director of Digital Content Strategy for CL's parent company, Euclid Media Group.
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