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  • Writer's pictureChuck Lanza

Tropical Storm Elsa Briefing #3 July 2, 2021

Updated: Jul 9, 2021


Although Elsa was forecasted earlier to remain a Tropical Storm as it moved closer to Florida, Elsa has become a minimal Category One Hurricane with winds of 75 mph. Storm intensity has always been more difficult to forecast than the speed of forward movement, wind speed and path. The 11:00 AM advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) shows the Cone of Probability over all of Florida but the panhandle. Elsa is forecast to be near the coast of Southwest Florida early next week. The only differences to bullet 4 between yesterday and today are an increase in the area in the Cone of Probability and the timing of Elsa's interaction with the Greater Antilles. Messages for Tropical Storm Elsa, bullet four states, "There is a risk of storm surge, wind, and rainfall in the Florida Keys and portions of the southern Florida Peninsula early next week. However, the forecast uncertainty remains larger than usual due to Elsa's potential interaction with the Greater Antilles this weekend. Interests in Florida should monitor Elsa's progress and updates to the forecast."

In addition to the Greater Antilles, Elsa has many land masses to cross including Hispaniola and Cuba.

Some of the track models are shown below. There is a better agreement on the general path for this group of models and the NHC's forecast is about in the center of the models.

Most of the intensity models rest between Elsa remaining a Category 1 Hurricane or again becoming a Tropical Depression over time while only a couple of outliers are showing Elsa as Category 2 or Category 3.

At the request of several people, I added a few more Governmental and Private Sector Weather related sites below. You will see more as Elsa tracks towards Florida. They will be appropriate to our stage of preparedness and response and will support the Protective Action Recommendations (PARs).

As a reminder, a complete update to the NHC advisories is released daily at 5am, 11am, 5pm and 11pm. These are usually the most important and anticipated. Between these times at 2am, 8am, 2pm and 8pm there are advisories with less information usually just an update to the storm's current location. I will provide at least one briefing daily until the threat has passed. I read all the advisories but will usually only brief on the 5am, 11am, or 5pm. If there are any major changes to the forecast I may add another briefing. My preference is to brief after the 5am, 11am or the 5pm.

The second and third graphics can be found on the website by Levi Cowan -

Protective Action Recommendations (PARs):

As was stated in the Observations and the Key Messages sections above, close monitoring is in order. Elsa is now a Category One Hurricane. There is a great deal of time, distance, warm waters and land mass between us a the storm. Which means we can expect many changes before next week. Based on what I see, I have verified my generator is working well, potable water and food are readily available for there days. On any day, I have at least three days of food and water not necessarily as preparedness but my desire to stay out of the stores as much as possible. For those of you who are new to the area or to these briefings, I will include some important sites and contacts I use. If the municipality or county, in which you reside, offers inclusion on an emergency notification systems, be sure to join. Be safe and keep up to date on the tropics.

I included a link below with the definition of Cone of Probability. It is a common hurricane term which is misunderstood more than it is understood. The NHC has dealt very well with this definition. Helpful links: Hurricane Related Definitions

Cone of Probability

Important Government Weather Related Sites

National Hurricane Center website.

NWS Weather.Gov

National Weather Service-Miami

National Weather Service-Melbourne

FEMA Hurricane page

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)

Ready South Florida

Important Non-Government Weather Related SitesFlorida Power and Light Storm Center

More to Follow

Disclaimer: I take every precaution to provide timely and accurate information from the National Hurricane Center, National Weather Service and support organizations. Please use the information provided here as a supplement to the forecasts and recommendations presented by hurricane and weather professionals as well as government officials. Please share these briefings with friends, colleagues and relatives. I will strive to keep the briefings succinct, robust and timely. Thank you. Chuck

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