Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Tropical Storm Elsa Strengthening North of Key West

Update 11:10am
Lightning has increased near the center of Elsa -- which is a reliable sign of strengthening. Worse, the Doppler measured wind speeds have increased rather significantly the last hour with gusts reaching 90 mph in what are likely tornadoes near the center. 
Given this strengthening it is possible the storm is already very near hurricane strength. Again: Please plan accordingly given a hurricane watch is out from Tampa to the Big Bend.

-- original posting --
A hurricane watch is in effect from Clearwater Beach to the Florida Big Band (pink). The blue is a tropical storm warning. 

While quite disorganized, Elsa has been intensifying this morning. Based on Doppler wind measurements as of 10:55am, there is a large area of 65 mph winds -- with stronger gusts -- within the dashed area. 
I expect there will be additional strengthening and that the storm could regain marginal hurricane intensity. I would urge people in the hurricane watch to prepare accordingly. 

There is a significant risk of tornadoes in the southern half of the Florida Peninsula. 

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