Elsa regained hurricane strength as it moved toward Tampa up along the southwestern coast of Florida. The National Hurricane Center said on Tuesday evening that Elsa had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, making it a Category 1 hurricane once again, and was moving north at 14 mph. Elsa had previously been categorized as a hurricane late last week as it neared the Caribbean before weakening into a tropical storm.
The NHC said in its update. “On Wednesday morning, Elsa is forecast to make landfall along the north Florida Gulf coast and then move across the southeastern United States through Thursday. Slow strengthening is forecast through tonight, and Elsa could be near hurricane strength before it makes landfall in Florida.” The NHC noted in its updated tropical storm-force winds and heavy rainfall in the Florida Keys.
Elsa was forecast to produce between 3-5 inches of rain through Wednesday across the Florida Keys and into southwest and western portions of the peninsula, with the rest of the state expected to receive between 2-4 inches. The NHC said there’s also a tornado threat in Elsa’s path, adding that the threat will continue into Wednesday across north Florida, southeast Georgia and parts of South Carolina.