ORLANDO, Fla. – Tropical storm Elsa continues to churn in the Caribbean on its way to Cuba late Sunday. Land interaction with Cuba will help to keep Elsa relatively weak as it emerges in the Florida Straits Monday. South Florida will start to feel tropical storm conditions Monday.
Subtle changes in Elsa’s projected path remain possible as it interacts with the Caribbean islands.
The worst of the weather when it comes to widespread impacts will be west of Interstate 75 and along the west coast of Florida. The main thing to be aware of across all of Central Florida is the tornado threat.
Most of Central Florida will be on the dirty side of the storm, increasing the chance for severe weather including tornadoes Tuesday and early Wednesday.
Winds will be gusty along the coast, but likely will stay below tropical storm force.
Heavy rain and gusty winds will be possible in Elsa’s outer bands. Most of Central Florida will see wind gusts below 40 mph. A typical summertime thunderstorms has winds of 40-50 mph. Isolated higher gusts will be possible in stronger embedded thunderstorms in Elsa’s outer bands.
The risk for widespread tropical storm force winds (greater than 39 mph) appears low across most of Central Florida. The best chance for winds greater than 40 mph will be west of I-75.
Bottom line: Widespread impacts from Elsa in Central Florida should be limited. Locally damaging storms will be possible, however Tuesday into Wednesday morning as the storm passes by.
It will be important to stay weather aware Tuesday into Wednesday.