Zephyrhills Free Press

Tropical Storm warning issued for the Keys

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, Santiago de Cuba, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Mayabeque, and Havana; Jamaica; and the Florida Keys from Craig Key westward to the Dry Tortugas. Tropical storm conditions are expected in portions of Jamaica today, over eastern and central Cuba later today and tonight, and in the warning area of the Florida Keys by late Monday.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, and Santiago de Cuba. Hurricane conditions are possible in portions of eastern and central Cuba later today and tonight.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman; the Cuban province of Artemisa; the Florida Keys from east of Craig Key to Ocean Reef; Florida Bay; and the southwest coast of Florida from Flamingo to Bonita Beach. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch areas in the Cayman Islands by tonight, and in the upper Florida Keys and the southwest coast of Florida by Monday night.

For storm information including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office – www.weather.gov.

At 11 a.m. EDT, the center of Tropical Storm Elsa was located over the Caribbean Sea about 50 miles (80 km) north of Kingston, Jamaica. It’s moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h). A turn toward the northwest is expected today or tonight. On the forecast track, Elsa will continue to move near Jamaica and portions of eastern Cuba today, and approach central Cuba tonight and early Monday. Elsa is expected to move across central and western Cuba and head toward the Florida Straits on Monday and pass near the Florida Keys late Monday. Elsa is then forecast to move near or over portions of the west coast of Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km) from the center. Some strengthening is possible today and tonight as Elsa approaches the south-central coast of Cuba. However, gradual weakening is forecast to occur on Monday when Elsa moves across Cuba. After Elsa emerges over the Florida Straits and the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, some slight restrengthening is possible.

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