Hurricane Elsa Recap | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel

  • Elsa was the earliest fifth named storm on record in the Atlantic.
  • Elsa made landfall in the Florida Panhandle on July 7.
  • Heavy rain, flooding, strong winds and tornadoes spread across parts of the Southeast and Northeast.

Tropical Depression Five formed June 30 while it was about 1,000 miles east of the Windward Islands.

The system then became Tropical Storm Elsa six hours later on July 1, the earliest forming fifth named Atlantic storm on record in the satellite era (since 1966). The old record was held by Edouard, which developed a year ago on the evening of July 5.

Elsa also formed unusually far south and east for so early in the hurricane season, according to Colorado State University tropical scientist, Phil Klotzbach.

The following morning, Elsa became the first hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season on July 2, almost six weeks earlier than the average date of the season’s first Atlantic hurricane.

Elsa brought hurricane force gusts to Barbados and St. Lucia Friday morning. A sustained wind of 74 mph and gust of 86 mph was measured on Barbados early Friday. A wind gust of 79 mph was reported in St. Lucia.

More than 5 inches of rain had fallen in at least one location in Jamaica as of late Sunday morning.

The tropical storm made landfall around 2 p.m. EDT Monday in Ciénaga de Zapata National Park, about 80 miles southeast of Havana along the Caribbean coast of western Cuba’s Matanzas Province. Maximum sustained winds at the time were 60 mph.

Wind gusts to 70 mph have been clocked amid the heavy rain in Key West and flooding has been reported in the Lower Keys.

Elsa briefly became a hurricane again Tuesday evening, but then weakened back to tropical storm early Wednesday morning.

Dry air and wind shear helped erode away the more well-organized core that it briefly developed near its circulation center Tuesday.

Elsa made landfall late Wednesday morning near Steinhatchee, Florida, about 75 miles southeast of Tallahassee, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Winds gusted to 71 mph in Horseshoe Beach, midway between Steinhatchee and Cedar Key along Florida’s Big Bend, as Elsa’s center moved ashore.

Gusts of 55 to 60 mph were clocked at Cedar Key Wednesday morning with driving rain. A storm surge of 2.7 feet was recorded at Cedar Key around the midday high tide shortly after Elsa’s landfall.

Trees were downed in some areas, including across Interstate 10 in Baker County, Florida, and Interstate 75 in Columbia County near Lake City, and in Dowling Park, where 20 to 30 trees were uprooted or snapped.

A brief EF0 tornado downed a tree onto a home in Columbia, Florida. Later in the afternoon, a tornado tore through the south side of Jacksonville, downing trees and power lines.

(MORE: Elsa Impacted Parts of the Southeast With Flooding, High Winds, Tornadoes)

Flooding rain also soaked parts of the Sunshine State and south Georgia.

Water approached a few homes in Steinhatchee, according to Taylor County emergency management.

Some roads were flooded in parts of Charlotte, Lee, Manatee and Sarasota Counties where stalled bands of rain had set up. Rainfall totals up to 11 inches were reported in Punta Gorda, according to the National Weather Service.

In Lowndes County, Georgia, a few dirt roads were reportedly flooded and washed out, according to local emergency management.

On Wednesday night, a wind gust to 75 mph was measured at Tybee Island, Georgia. The Savannah International Airport reported a gust up to 44 mph Wednesday night and the Charleston International Airport recorded a gust of 47 mph early Thursday.

Multiple trees came down in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where winds gusted to 54 mph Thursday morning.

Gusts from 45 to 60 mph were measured Thursday along the coast from near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Carolina Beach, south of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Elsa raced then through the Northeast on Friday, July 9.

A wind gust up to 78 mph was measured in Ludlam Bay, New Jersey, early Friday, but radar data suggest that it was possibly associated with a nearby tornadic circulation and not due to Elsa’s larger wind field, the NHC noted.

(MORE: Elsa Flooded Roads and Downed Trees, Powerlines in the Northeast)

Early Friday, a sustained wind of 45 mph with a gust to 49 mph was measured on a buoy east of Long Beach, New Jersey. A wind gust of 39 mph was recorded at Islip Airport and a gust of 38 mph was reported at JFK International Airport.

A wind gust up to 57 mph was reported near Jones Beach, New York, Friday morning, while a site near Block Island Jetty observed a wind gust to 54 mph and a sustained wind of 39 mph.

Multiple trees came down on the Long Island Railroad Oyster Bay Branch on Friday morning.

Heavy rainfall prompted flash flooding in portions of the Northeast Friday morning.

Several areas of southern Connecticut reported water rescues and roads closed, including in Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford and Darien.

The flooding then spread into Massachusetts midday Friday, where streets were closed in Worcester and cars were stuck in Framingham and Lynn.

Early Friday afternoon, a wind gust to 49 mph was reported near Falmouth, Massachusetts, while a buoy in Nantucket Sound measured a sustained wind of 47 mph and a wind gust to 56 mph.

The name Elsa is new to the list of rotating names being used this season. This year’s list was last used in 2015, but Erika was the “E” storm that year.

Erika was retired after it caused deadly and destructive flooding in the Caribbean Island of Dominica. Elsa replaced it.

A worker removes a tree that fell on a house in Milford after a strong storm caused by Tropical Storm Elsa struck the area. Damage from Tropical Storm Elsa hit the mid-Atlantic states Thursday night and Friday morning. (Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A worker removes a tree that fell on a house in Milford after a strong storm caused by Tropical Storm Elsa struck the area. Damage from Tropical Storm Elsa hit the mid-Atlantic states Thursday night and Friday morning. (Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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