Tropical Storm Elsa, the fifth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, formed on Thursday and was expected to bring dangerous rains and winds to several Caribbean islands on Friday and weekends.
The National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning for St. Vincent and the Grenadines Thursday morning, indicating that tropical storms are expected within 36 hours, joining Barbados, Martinique and St. Lucia. A tropical storm clock – which shows that tropical storms are possible within 36 hours – was released for Jamaica and parts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Thursday evening. Early on Friday, Saba and St. Eustatius were also placed under a tropical storm watch.
The center warned that many other islands in the region, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands should monitor the storm.
The storm moved about 275 miles east-southeast of Barbados on Friday morning and moved west-west at about 42 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour on Friday that caused up to 10 inches of rain on these islands as well brings to Barbados.
The system was also due to move to the eastern Caribbean on Friday evening and then to near Hispaniola on Saturday. Elsa was expected to produce 1 to 3 inches of rain en route across Puerto Rico, with localized amounts of up to 5 inches Friday through Saturday. That rain could cause flash floods and mudslides, the Hurricane Center said.
Winds with tropical gale force extended up to 140 miles from the center of the storm, mostly in the north, early Friday, the Hurricane Center said.
The center said it was too early to determine what impact the storm could have on Florida, where a search for survivors of a collapsed condo building near Miami was halted on Thursday amid concerns that the remaining part of the building would also collapse could.
Weather forecasters said there was a risk of rain, wind and storm surges in South Florida and the Florida Keys next week.
Ana became the first named storm of the season on May 23, the seventh year in a row that a named storm developed in the Atlantic prior to the official start of the season on June 1.
The links between hurricanes and climate change are becoming more and more apparent. A warming planet can expect stronger hurricanes and higher incidence of the strongest storms over time – although the total number of storms may decrease as factors such as stronger wind shear could prevent weaker storms from forming.
Hurricanes also get wetter because of more water vapor in the warmer atmosphere; Scientists have suggested that storms like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 produced much more rain than they would without the human impact on the climate. In addition, rising sea levels contribute to higher storm surges – the most destructive element of tropical cyclones.
Researchers have suggested that climate change also causes some storms to intensify faster, which, as a recent study in Nature Communications put it, â€œcan lead to catastrophic scenarios if coastal areas are not evacuated in time and prepared for an extremely violent one ” Storm.
Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict there will be 13 to 20 named storms this year, including six to 10 hurricanes and three to five major category 3 or higher hurricanes in the Atlantic.
Last year there were 30 named storms, including six major hurricanes, which caused meteorologists to deplete the alphabet for the second time and switch to Greek letters.
It was the highest number of storms in history, surpassing the 28 storms in 2005, and including the second highest number of hurricanes on record
Johnny Diaz, Derrick Bryson Taylor and Isabella GrullÃ³n Paz Reporting contributed.