Tropical Storm Elsa is still several days from its expected path to Florida. This is the fifth named storm to have originated over the Atlantic and formed on Thursday morning. Heavy rains, flash floods, and mudslides are expected in the Caribbean, where it is at present situated.
Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane researcher at Colorado State University, said Tropical Storm Elsa, formed on July 1, is the earliest fifth named storm on record and has come before Eduardo, which formed only on July 6 last year.
Tropical Storm Elsa Part Of Unprecedented Weather Patterns
2021 has seen many unpredictable weather patterns. While deadly record-breaking heatwaves have struck the Western US, there have been unprecedented levels of rains in Michigan that overcame the antiquated drainage system of Detroit.
In Texas there has been an unprecedented cold storm, disabling its power grid while almost the complete western US is in the grip of a historic drought. The wildfire season has also started quite early this year in California. These all have been connected to weather change caused by global warming.
Tropical Storm Elsa packs in wind speeds of 40 mph (64 kph) with much higher gusts expected. It was centered at 865 miles (1,390 kilometers) east southeast of Windward Islands as revealed by the National Hurricane Center. Wind speeds reaching tropical force are extended up to 105 miles (168 kilometers) from the center of the storm.
Tropical Storm Elsa moving west at 25 mph (40 kph) but it is expected to move in a northwesterly direction in the next 24 to 36 hours. On Friday, the storm is expected over the Windward and the Leeward Islands into the Caribbean Sea late on Friday and move into southern Hispaniola on Saturday. Rainfall between 3 to 6 inches is expected with a maximum of 8 inches over the Windward and Leeward Islands, and Barbados.
Tropical Storm Elsa is not expected to cause extensive damage but its formation is earlier than normal after Tropical Storm Ana, Bill, Claudette, and Danny indicate conditions that are favorable for tropical storms are increasing in frequency.
Named storms formed and arrived much ahead of June 1, the official date of hurricane season, in a pattern discernable over the past 7 years. This year it was Hurricane Ana. 30 storms including 6 major hurricanes, formed in 2020, a record. 2020 was also the hottest year after 2016.
The sustained upsurge in global temperatures caused by global warming has extended the limits of the hurricane season. Between 13 and 20 named storms are forecast this year according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The early arrival of Tropical Storm Elsa indicates that the prediction could come true for this season.