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Since 2012 on the now retired Weather Underground blogs, I have been posting annotated "birdseye view" charts of the Atlantic basin, with a detailed explanation and forecasting that references the chart. From there you may know me as "NCHurricane2009." While I now do these "birdseye view" posts here, I will continue to do comments at Yale Climate Connections via Disqus where the former Weather Underground community has moved to. Feel free to reply to me there, at my Disqus feed at this link, or via e-mail at 

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*******Note that forecasts and outlooks in this post are NOT the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). They are my own detailed views on the Atlantic tropics based on current observations and latest computer model runs. As such do not make decisions based on my posts...consult news and warnings from your local weather office...and any evacuation orders issued by local governments to make the most informed and best decisions. Visit the NHC website (hurricanes dot gov) for the latest watches/warnings and official forecasts on active tropical cyclones.**********


The center of Hurricane Elsa is approaching St Vincent…hurricane force conditions (75 mph sustained winds with higher gusts) expected here shortly. St Lucia will still experience tropical storm force winds if they have not already. Refer to the update below from 4:34 AM EDT for more information on expected impacts and timing of Elsa.


The NHC has upgraded Elsa to a minimal category 1 hurricane with 75 mph maximum sustained winds as the center of circulation passes just south of Barbados…as of 7:45 AM EDT. Interests in Barbados should be sheltered in place. St Lucia and St Vincent will see hurricane force conditions by this afternoon as the center passes over or nearby.

Refer to the update below from 4:34 AM EDT for more information on expected impacts and timing of Elsa.

...FRIDAY JULY 2 2021 4:34 AM EDT….

Satellite image of Tropical Storm Elsa approaching the southern Lesser Antilles…taken at 0740Z:

Elsa has continued to gradually strengthen overnight while firing a large-scale thunderstorm mass over its center. As the intensity of this mass relaxes…the latest infrared satellite pictures show an increase in banding features suggesting Elsa may strengthen to a strong tropical storm as it crosses through the southern Lesser Antilles. The chances of Elsa becoming a hurricane in the Caribbean Sea appear to be increasing.

For the Lesser Antilles:

**All preparations in the southern Lesser Antilles should have been completed by now.

**If the current track continues…the center of circulation will pass over or near Barbados later this morning…then pass over or near St Lucia and St Vincent by this afternoon. With the center passage…strong tropical storm force winds as high as 60 or perhaps 70 mph…with higher gusts…could occur if Elsa strengthens further. Wind damage will be possible as a result. Coastal storm surge (sea level rise) and heavy rainfall with flash flooding potential will also be hazards.

**Based on Elsa’s wind radius and current track…tropical storm force winds approaching 40+ mph will be likely over the northern Grenadines…and reach as far north as Martinique. Isolated wind damage will be possible as a result. Coastal sea swells (large waves) and heavy rainfall with flash flooding potential will also be hazards.

**Thunderstorm banding features ahead of Elsa have already developed as far southwest as Trinidad and Tobago. For these islands and Grenada…heavy rainfall with some flash flooding potential as well as coastal sea swells are possible hazards now that Elsa is strengthening to a potentially high end tropical storm. Coastal sea swells could reach as far south as northeastern Venezuela.

**The northern rain bands of Elsa will pass over Guadeloupe and Dominica by this afternoon. Gusty winds are possible given this side of the circulation is helped by Elsa’s fast forward speed. Heavy rainfall with some flash flooding potential as well as coastal sea swells are also possible hazards. Coastal sea swells could radiate as far north as the remainder of the northern Lesser Antilles.

For the western Dominican Republic...the forecast track could mean heavy rainfall with flash flooding potential from the northeastern bands of arrive by Sunday. A tropical storm watch has also been raised for parts of the southwest coast. Given Elsa’s track is a little further north than the previous…tropical storm conditions (gusty winds and coastal sea swells) are a possibility. Now is the time to begin preparing here.

Interests in Haiti and Jamaica are under a tropical storm watch as of this writing. Begin preparing now for tropical storm and possible hurricane force conditions (damaging winds…coastal storm surge)

The Cayman Islands and Cuba are encouraged to watch this system very carefully as there is potential for Elsa to be closing in on this region by Sunday and Monday as a potentially significant hurricane. Watches or warnings are possible here later today or within the next day or so. Interests across the Florida peninsula should also be closely watching the progress of Elsa as it could turn north into the region from Cuba by Wednesday…or perhaps earlier in some projections…at hurricane strength.

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