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  • Writer's pictureChuck Lanza

Tropical Storm Elsa Briefing #6 July 5, 2021

NHC Advisory#: 20A Time and Date of NHC Advisory: 0800 July 5, 2021 Storm Name: Elsa Category: Tropical Storm Sustained wind speed: 55 mph Direction of movement: NW Forward Movement: 14 mph Location: 165 miles SE of Havana, Cuba

Observations and Forecast Information from the NHC:

In their 8:00 am Public Advisory, the NHC lists the following Watches and Warnings for Florida: Warnings Tropical Storm Warning for the Florida Keys from Craig Key westward to the Dry Tortugas Tropical Storm Warning for the west coast of Florida from Flamingo to Englewood A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere with the warning area. Watches: Tropical Storm Warning for the west coast of Florida northward from Englewood to the Aucilla River Tropical Storm Watch for the Florida Keys from Craig Key eastward to Ocean Reef, Including Florida Bay. Tropical Storm Watch for the west coast of Florida from northward from Flamingo northward to Bonita Island A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area. Storm Surge Watch: West Coast of Florida from Bonita Beach to the Suwannee River A storm surge warning is the possibility or life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specific area, generally within 48 hours. Taken directly from the Public Advisory which shows Elsa is moving northwest and this general motion is expected today, followed by a turn toward the north-northwest on Tuesday. The forward speed is 14 mph. Maximum Sustained winds are 55 mph. The NHC is forecasting some strengthening and a turn to the northwest today and tonight. Elsa is expected to pass near the Florida Keys early Tuesday. Elsa is forecast to move near of over portions of the west coast of Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area in the Florida Keys and southwestern Florida beginning tonight. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area of the upper Florida Keys by tonight. Tropical conditions are possible in the watch area along the west coast of Florida beginning Tuesday. From a timing perspective, the Earliest Reasonable Arrival of Tropical Storm Force Winds graphic demonstrates Tropical Storms Force Winds may occur over south Florida beginning after 8 pm this evening, central Florida Tuesday morning and north Florida Tuesday evening. To see the probability of this occurring see the Tropical Storm Force Wind Speed Probability graphics. Most of Florida has at least a 5% probability of tropical storm force winds, while Key West has between a 60-70% probability. As Elsa turns to the north and crosses northern Florida the probability increase to between 30 -50%. By using the Earliest Reasonable Arrival of Tropical Storm Force Winds graphic and the Tropical Storm Force Wind Speed Probability graphic you can determine with some deal of accuracy when and where the wind threats are more likely to occur and the extent to which they may occur. Each of the graphics presented by the NHC and included in these briefings offer you a window into the timing, location and probability of the threat. Whenever possible I will provide you the tools to make better decisions in your preparedness and response to tropical weather events. Looking back at previous storms, I want to remind people who are in the Cone of Probability that in 2004 the forecast for Hurricane Charley was to move up the west coast of south and central Florida; which the storm did until it moved quickly into Charlotte County with devastating affect. Although the official forecast and the models were for the storm to stay off shore, the Cone of Probability was larger and the storm deviated from the forecast track but was still in the Cone off Probability. I always prepare until the storm has passed my location and even then I monitor as before many of you were born, Hurricane Betsy passed us in south Florida then returned by making a loop off the east coast of Florida. The moral of the story is; its not over until it is over. For critical information about the threats to areas throughout Florida see the Map of Coastal Threats and Possible Impacts or click the last graphic below.

Graphics and links used in this briefing: 5-Day Cone: Intensity: From the Website by Levi Cowan - Tracks: From the Website by Levi Cowan - Tropical Storm Force Wind Speed Probabilities Earliest Reasonable Arrival of Tropical Storm-force Winds: Map of Coastal Threats and Possible Impacts

I added a link to the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale in the Hurricane Related Definitions. It is a short and succinct review of the scale on which storm categories are based.

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 my preference is to brief on either the 5am, 11am, or 5pm. If there are any major changes to the forecast I may add another briefing.

Protective Action Recommendations (PARs):

For he Florida Keys and Southwest Florida, preparedness activities should be close to completion. For the Florida Keys, and the western coastal counties in Florida, watch with attention to the directions provided by local emergency management and other governmental officials as they are in contact with the NHC and NWS to develop a response plan for your community. Evacuations could be ordered for low-lying and flood prone areas. If the order is made for your area, following it closely and quickly. Storm Surge is much more dangerous than many people understand. Please listen to your local officials and weather expertise as there actions are to protect lives and property. Other areas in the Cone of Probability, close monitoring is in order. The time for us to prepare is much less. Actions that can be taken today: Listen and act on information provided by the National Hurricane Center, National Weather Service and local public officials. Remove loose items (e.g., statutes, nomes, etc.) from the yard that could become projectiles and make sure they are safely stored away. Make sure you have adequate gas in my vehicle and grill. Do not undertake any tree trimming or any activity that will increase loose items or vegetation near the house. If you live on the west Coast of Florida monitor local Emergency Management Offices for instructions if you live in a low-lying area that tends to flood during rain storms or if you live in an area subject to storm surge. Check batteries for items that maybe used during a loss of power (i.e., radios, flashlights and portable televisions).

Actions I have taken to this point:

Verified my generator is working,

I have potable water and food for at least three days for my wife and I.

If the municipality or county, in which you reside, offers inclusion on an emergency notification systems, be sure to join.

Use the links below to find important preparedness information.

Be safe and keep up to date on the tropics.

Graphics from the National Hurricane Center Center and other helpful related sites:

(Click the graphic to go to the site)Helpful links: Hurricane Related Definitions

Cone of Probability

Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale

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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