Tropical Storm Elsa is on the verge of turning into a hurricane.

Maria Lozano , Student Writer

After being dubbed the fifth storm of the Atlantic hurricane season early Thursday morning, AccuWeather experts continued to keep a close eye on Tropical Storm Elsa. The storm is expected to grow into the Atlantic’s first hurricane of 2021, and it is expected to make landfall in Florida next week after dumping torrential rain, high gusts, and churning up hazardous waters across the Caribbean islands. Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia and Martinique all had a tropical storm warning in effect. 

 

The storm has sustained maximum winds of 45mph. Elsa is expected to gain maximum sustained winds of 74 mph and grow into a hurricane after it reaches the Windward Islands. If Elsa does not develop hurricane strength before reaching the islands, it will most likely become a hurricane as it travels over the Central Caribbean seas and making landfall in the states. 

 

Tampa’s emergency management officials are keeping a close eye on Elsa’s projected path. Laura Wilcoxen, the emergency management director in Pasco County, explained that they have “been closely monitoring Elsa even before she was named a tropical storm” The storm surge that Tampa could experience is their biggest concern. Although it’s too early to say whether Elsa will pass through Pasco County, Wilcoxen said preparations are in the works.

 

Emergency officials are encouraging individuals of Pasco County to stock up on flashlights and other critical supplies.