Tropical Storm Elsa is still intensifying under moderate shear, and now as of the latest Force Thirteen analysis, it’s now a 70mph tropical storm with a minimum central pressure of 998mb. Force Thirteen will be running a live coverage on Elsa very soon at 16:00EDT as it’s heading towards Florida. Heavy showers and gusty winds with gale or storm force are reported in most of Florida.
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Elsa has been steadily developing despite moderate wind shear with some dry air. The partial eyewall is attempting to wrap with downshear convection. From the AF302 reconnaissance plane, at the strongest northeastern quadrant, it has found flight level (850mb) winds of 73kts with Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR) of 61kts, which blended them yields a max sustained winds of 60kts, with a minimum central pressure of 998mb by a center dropsonde at 18:23 UTC with the pressure of 1000mb and 28kts winds at the surface.
Moreover, it should also note that dropsonde indicated a continuous intensification trend with a Y-shape temperature and dew point temperature pattern as it drops, so as a 5C temperature spike at the center, which reflected that further intensification is possible. The National Hurricane Center agrees that development will continue up to Florida landfall with an expected peak of 75mph, which is a low-end category 1 hurricane.
Please stay indoors and away from the coast. Evacuate to shelters at higher elevation immediately if needed. The strongest winds and rain from Elsa are expected to arrive within 12 hours. Stay safe.