Tropical Storm Elsa strengthened into the first hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic season on Friday morning and could hit Florida as soon as Sunday evening.
Elsa’s winds reached neared 75 miles per hour, qualifying it as a Category 1 hurricane, according to an advisory issued around 11am by the National Hurricane Center. At the time, Hurricane Elsa was about 5 miles south of St Vincent and was heading northwest at 29 mph.
A hurricane warning was issued for St Vincent, Barbados, St Lucia and the Grenadines. Schools, businesses were closed in St Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as an international airport. Barbados also saw closures as it was battered with heavy rain and wind on Thursday night.
Parts of Florida and the Florida Keys are at risk of storm surge, heavy rainfall and wind. The possible severe weather in the region could start to dissipate by Monday night, according to AccuWeather.
‘Impacts to the contiguous United States would begin Monday night at the earliest after the system passes through the Caribbean,’ AccuWeather senior meteorologist Adam Douty told USA Today. ‘Residents from the central Gulf Coast, across Florida and to the Carolina coast should monitor the progress of Elsa.’
On Friday morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that the southern part of the state could experience tropical storm-grade winds as early as Sunday night. DeSantis said he was working on a possible emergency order.
On Elsa’s path is not only Florida, but also Georgia and South Carolina.
The first hurricane during the Atlantic season usually forms around August 10, according to University of Georgia meteorologist Marshall Shepherd in Forbes. Elsa is the earliest E, or fifth storm of the season, on record, coming sooner than Eduardo which formed on July 6 last year.
It is possible that Elsa could veer north and weaken, according the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network said.
Courtesy of metro.co.uk
Nearly 500,000 power outages reported across Texas & Louisiana as Hurricane Delta pummels gulf coast with 80mph gusts
Nearly a half-million residents in Texas and Louisiana have been left without power after Hurricane Delta made landfall along the US gulf coast, battering cities with winds up to 80 miles per hour.
Delta hit land in southwest Louisiana on Friday night, inflicting widespread damage and knocking out electricity for some 379,636 people in the state and another 108,402 in neighboring Texas, according to PowerOutage.us, a project that aggregates data from utility companies around the country.
Footage circulating on social media showed powerful gusts sweeping through the streets of multiple Louisiana cities, including Jennings and Lake Charles, where power lines were also seen downed by the wind.
As the storm surge began to swell ocean tides along the Louisiana coast on Friday evening, flooding could be seen in some areas of the state, including in the town of Delcambre. According to the New Orleans National Weather Service, however, no flash flood warnings are currently in effect.
Though the storm was initially classified a Category 2 hurricane, producing winds up to 100 miles per hour, it was downgraded to a Category 1 soon after making landfall. Delta is expected to continue to lose steam as it moves northeast across Louisiana and will eventually become a tropical storm, according to forecasts from local meteorologists.
The storm comes on the heels of a number of destructive weather systems in recent months, with the Category 4 Hurricane Laura pounding Louisiana and neighboring states in August with winds up to 150 miles per hour, resulting in some 77 deaths in total and more than $14.1 billion in damage. Tropical Storm Beta also hit Texas last month, wreaking destruction across parts of the state’s coast.
Courtesy of rt.com