Hurricane Elsa 4 pm Update

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Published 2nd July 2021, 4:51pm

At 4 pm, the National Hurricane Center provided an update on Hurricane Elsa. Elsa has now moved into the Caribbean Sea and is currently tracking to the west at 30 mph. Maximum sustained wind speeds are unchanged from the previous advisory at 85 mph.

Elsa is a reasonably small cyclone, with hurricane force winds extending outwards up to 25 miles from the centre, and tropical storm force winds extending outwards up to 140 miles - mainly on the northern side of the hurricane.

On the current forecast track, Elsa is expected to pass well north of the Cayman Islands, however a tropical storm watch remains in effect for the Sister Islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The NHC is reporting that by early next week, Elsa is expected to impact portions of the Cayman Islands and Cuba producing 5 to 10 inches of rain, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches. This rainfall may result in significant flash flooding.

The Cayman Islands National Weather Service is also forecasting period of heavy rainfall and the possibility of flooding could lead to challenging road conditions. Residents are encouraged to drive with care and attention, especially in areas of standing water. The local met office is also warning of rough, to very rough seas beginning on Sunday and Monday. Persons with boats should seek safe shelter with forecast wave heights of 9 to 13 feet. Additionally, while tropical storm force winds are considered unlikely to impact Cayman Brac and Little Cayman in the coming days, strong, blustery winds are to be expected, and it is still possible that Hurricane Elsa will deviate from the current guidance track so residents should remain vigilant.

A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for portions of the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica. Reports of trees down and damaged buildings have already been received from Barbados and St. Lucia. Residents of the Sister Islands are again reminded that the possibility of tropical storm force winds still remains, and power of storm force winds should not be underestimated.