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Tropical Storm Elsa Forms, Could Approach Florida Next Week

The fifth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season has formed in the Atlantic, but with a path that could take it into the Caribbean by this weekend.

As of Thursday at 8 a.m., Tropical Storm Elsa was still located about 780 miles east-southeast of the Windward Islands and racing to the west at 25 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Maximum sustained winds are 40 mph with higher gusts.

Megan Borowski, meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network, says the storm is expected to quickly move into the Caribbean this weekend and has the potential to threaten Florida early next week.

“Right now, the steering pattern in the atmosphere should guide Elsa over the Lesser Antilles and south of Hispaniola over the next few days,” Borowski said. “After that , the forecast track is uncertain, as several factors — including the Bermuda high and an unusually strong trough over the eastern U.S. — will come into play. However, it is reasonable to say that Elsa could approach the southern periphery of our state by early next week.“

On its current track, Else would approach Haiti by Saturday night before turning northeast toward Cuba and emerging in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday morning.

Borowski also said that before any potential effects from Elsa arrive early next week, a soggy and unsettled weather pattern is unfolding over the holiday weekend, especially in North Florida where an unusually strong front will be approaching.

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