11 PM Update: Tropical Storm Elsa slowing down, wind speeds down
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -Tropical Storm Elsa continued to weaken and slow down this evening with sustained maximum winds at 65 mph and moving to the WNW at 17 mph. While little change is expected tonight as the storm moves away from Haiti and towards the southern Cuban coast, some slight restrengthening could occur Sunday afternoon as Elsa approaches the south-central coast of Cuba.
Sea-surface temperatures along the south-central coast of Cuba are quite warm at more than 30 degrees Celsius and the water is deep which could help with some restrengthening. This could then be followed with weakening as the storm turns north and crosses west-central Cuba but followed again by some slight restrengthening after Elsa emerges over the warm Gulf Stream in the Straits of Florida. Westerly vertical wind shear increasing by 96 hours should prevent any significant strengthening from occurring.
Models are becoming more aligned with a west Florida coastal track leading to likely an impact here on the Suncoast. Some GFS models do trend the storm a bit further offshore whereas the European model keeps the storm closer to shore. The key things to watch for will be how much the storm can restrengthen as it cross over into The Gulf after Cuba and how sharp of a turn the storm takes and when it take the turn towards land.
The Hurricane Warning for the southern portion of Haiti from Port Au Prince to the southern border with the Dominican Republic has been replaced with a Tropical Storm Warning.
The Tropical Storm Warning for Haiti north of Port Au Prince has been discontinued.
Right now, there is a Tropical Storm Warning in effect for:
- Southern portion of Haiti from Port Au Prince to the southern border with the Dominican Republic
- The Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, Santiago de Cuba, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, and Cienfuegos
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:
- The Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, and Santiago de Cuba
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- Cayman Brac and Little Cayman
- The Cuban provinces of Matanzas, Mayabeque, and Havana
- The Florida Keys from Craig Key westward to the Dry Tortugas
Good news for the 4th of July weekend - Elsa has no effect on our holiday. Sunday, the 4th of July, most of us stay dry with only a 20% chance of any showers. Monday afternoon showers are more likely with a 40% chance of afternoon showers. Happy 4th of July!
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