WATCH: Big changes made to the hurricane season this year
As of Saturday morning, Elsa is a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. The storm is moving west-northwest at 31 mph.
The storm will pass very close to the southwestern tip of Hispaniola on Saturday night, then skirt the southern coast of Cuba from Sunday into Sunday night. On Monday, a turn to the north is expected which will take the storm across western or central Cuba and likely into the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Elsa may maintain tropical storm intensity as it curves to the north and impacts parts of the eastern Gulf Coast next week. As a result, there can be isolated damage in western Florida, though given the expected intensity, most wind impacts should be minor.
As Elsa curves to the north early next week, rain is expected to spread into Florida and the rest of the southeastern United States. This rain over the Southeast, especially areas that have 4-8 inches of rain, may cause flash flooding from Florida into southern South Carolina. Rain may also clip eastern New England and Atlantic Canada late next week.
5am update for Hurricane Elsa. NC in the cone for next Thursday. Remnant rain and gusty winds look possible for part of the state. Still a lot of time to see how this develops. Elsa has to survive some rough terrain over the next few days. pic.twitter.com/IDqE1dUTsZ
— Steve Stewart (@StewartABC11) July 3, 2021
ABC11 First Alert Meteorologist Steve Stewart says the tropical system may make its closest approach to eastern North Carolina late in the day Thursday or Thursday night. Tropical moisture may fuel downpours through this period, making localized flooding possible.
WATCH: First Alert to Hurricane Season
However, the storm is many days away and there are uncertainties regarding its track and intensity that may change over time.
Depending on the track and speed of Elsa, this tropical system may make its closest approach to eastern North Carolina late in the day Thursday or Thursday night.
AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty contributed to this article.
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