Elsa Could Bring Heavy Rain, Storms to the Carolinas Thursday
Hurricane Watches have been issued for parts of the Nature Coast of Florida as Tropical Storm Elsa slides west of the Florida Keys Tuesday morning. Although this is a disorganized storm it is large and brings the potential for flooding rain across the southeast. It will likely strengthen over the Gulf and could become a hurricane before landfall in the Big Bend region of Florida – north of Tampa – Wednesday. Regardless of strength, this storm will bring heavy rain and storms across the southeast.
Florida: Rainfall totals of 3-5″ with isolated totals up to 8″ will be possible for the Florida Keys and Western edge of the Florida coast as Elsa rides into the Gulf Tuesday. Storm surge up to 5 feet will be possible for parts of the Nature Coast, including Tampa Bay, which will lead to coastal flooding. Damaging wind gusts of 40-60 mph will be possible along with isolated tornadoes.
Georgia and the Carolinas: After, landfall early Wednesday Elsa will move into South Georgia late Wednesday. Heavy downpours with 2-4″ of rainfall will be possible along with 30-40 mph gusts and isolated tornadoes. Parts of the Low Country and Georgia coast are under a Tropical Storm Watch with a storm surge of 1-3′ possible. Heavy downpours could bring up to 6-8″ across isolated areas of Georgia and South Carolina late Wednesday into Thursday. Elsa will move along the east coast into North Carolina and Virginia before moving off the coast Friday.
Local Impacts: Rain and storms will bring heavy rain for areas south and east of I-85 Thursday. 1-3″ of rain will be likely, but up to 4″ will be possible. If this storm tracks any further west, then coverage of the heaviest rain would impact more of the WCCB viewing area. Lower end threats will include wind gusts up to 30 mph and with all tropical systems and an embedded spin up cannot be ruled out, but look to be more of a threat for coastal communities.
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