Tropical Storm Elsa to drench New York after lashing Florida
Tropical Storm Elsa is poised to gain strength off the coasts of New York and New Jersey on Friday, dumping heavy rain on the Northeast and the Canadian Maritimes after buffeting Florida earlier in the week.
Elsa’s top winds fell to 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour as it spun across northern Florida Wednesday, the US National Hurricane Center said in a 2 p.m. New York time advisory. The storm is forecast to weaken to a tropical depression Thursday over the Carolinas and Virginia before entering the Atlantic once again off New Jersey. A depression is the weakest class of storm in the family of systems that includes hurricanes.
“The question then becomes is it able to re-strengthen into a tropical storm,” said Paul Walker, a meteorologist with commercial forecaster AccuWeather Inc. Regardless of whether they’re from Elsa or another system in the East, there will be “good rains from the mid-Atlantic into New England and into Atlantic Canada.”
Elsa is the fifth Atlantic storm this year and became the season’s first hurricane as it moved through the Caribbean last week, killing at least three people. It’s also the third named storm to hit the US this year. While meteorologists don’t expect the tally of Atlantic storms in 2021 to reach last year’s record of 30, they’re predicting a more active hurricane season than normal.
Moisture from Elsa combined with a weather front moving across the East Coast could bring as much as 5 inches of rain or more from Georgia to New Brunswick, Canada, in the next five days, according to the US Weather Prediction Center.
The storm’s worst winds will remain on its east side, mainly out to sea, Walker said.
“Heavy rain could come up the I-95 corridor,” Walker said.
After Elsa sweeps off into the North Atlantic, the basin is poised to calm down for the next week. Hurricane season began June 1 and runs until November 30.