Hurricane Elsa Strengthens


...ELSA STRENGTHENS MORE AS IT MOVES INTO THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN

SEA...

SUMMARY OF 200 PM AST...1800 UTC...INFORMATION

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LOCATION...13.7N 62.5W

ABOUT 95 MI...155 KM WNW OF ST. VINCENT

ABOUT 580 MI...935 KM ESE OF SANTO DOMINGO DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...85 MPH...140 KM/H

PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 29 MPH...46 KM/H

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...991 MB...29.26 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

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CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

The Meteorological Service of the Cayman Islands has issued a

Tropical Storm Watch for the islands of Cayman Brac and Little

Cayman.

The Meteorological Service of Barbados has changed the Hurricane

Warning for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to a Tropical Storm

Warning, and has discontinued the Tropical Storm Warning for

Barbados.

The Meteorological Service of St. Lucia has changed the Hurricane

Warning for St. Lucia to a Tropical Storm Warning.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...

* Southern coast of Dominican Republic from Punta Palenque to the

border with Haiti

* Southern portion of Haiti from Port Au Prince to the southern

border with the Dominican Republic

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...

* St. Vincent and the Grenadines

* St. Lucia

* Martinique

* Dominica

* The coast of Haiti north of Port Au Prince

* South coast of the Dominican Republic east of Punta Palenque to

Cabo Engano

* Jamaica

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...

* Jamaica

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...

* Grenada and its dependencies

* Saba and Sint Eustatius

* North coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to

Bahia de Manzanillo

* Cayman Brac and Little Cayman

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected

somewhere within the warning area, in this case in the next few

hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed

to completion.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are

expected somewhere within the warning area.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible

within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours

before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force

winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or

dangerous.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are

possible within the watch area.

Interests elsewhere in the Windward Islands, Leeward Islands, the

Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and the

Cayman Islands should monitor the progress of Elsa. Additional

watches and warnings will likely be required later today.

For storm information specific to your area, please monitor

products issued by your national meteorological service.

DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK

----------------------

At 200 PM AST (1800 UTC), the center of Hurricane Elsa was located

near latitude 13.7 North, longitude 62.5 West. Elsa is moving toward

the west-northwest near 29 mph (46 km/h), and this motion is

expected to continue during the next couple of days, with some

decrease in forward speed expected Sunday night. On the forecast

track, Elsa will move away from the Windward Islands during the next

several hours, move across the eastern Caribbean Sea this afternoon

and tonight, and move near the southern coast of Hispaniola late

Saturday or Saturday night. By Sunday, Elsa is forecast to move

near Jamaica and portions of eastern Cuba, and move near portions of

central and western Cuba Sunday night and early Monday.

Reports from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that

maximum sustained winds are now near 85 mph (140 km/h) with higher

gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next

48 hours. Some decrease in winds is possible on Monday as Elsa

interacts with Cuba.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from

the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to

140 miles (220 km).

The minimum central pressure estimated from the NOAA Hurricane

Hunter data is 991 mb (29.26 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

----------------------

Key messages for Elsa can be found in the Tropical Cyclone

Discussion under AWIPS header MIATCDAT5, WMO header WTNT45 KNHC and

on the web at

www.hurricanes.gov/graphics_at5.shtml?key_messages.

WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected in the tropical storm

warning area in the Windward Islands for the next few hours.

Tropical storm conditions are expected in portions of the Windward

and southern Leeward Islands within the tropical storm warning areas

and are possible in the tropical storm watch areas later today.

Hurricane conditions are expected in the hurricane warning area in

Haiti by late Saturday and are possible in the hurricane watch area

in the Dominican Republic by late Saturday. Hurricane conditions

are possible on Jamaica late Saturday or Sunday.

STORM SURGE: A storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 1

to 3 feet above normal tide levels in areas of onshore winds in the

hurricane warning area in the Windward Islands and 2 to 4 feet

above normal tide levels along the southern coast of Hispaniola.

RAINFALL: Elsa is expected to produce rainfall totals of 4 to 8

inches with maximum amounts of 15 inches today across the Windward

and southern Leeward Islands, including Barbados. This rain may lead

to isolated flash flooding and mudslides.

Over Puerto Rico, rainfall of 1 to 3 inches with localized amounts

of 5 inches is expected late today into Saturday. This rain may lead

to isolated flash flooding and minor river flooding, along with the

potential for mudslides.

Across portions of southern Hispaniola and Jamaica, rainfall of 4 to

8 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches is possible

Saturday into Sunday. This rain may lead to scattered flash

flooding and mudslides.

SURF: Swells generated by Elsa will spread westward across the

Caribbean Sea during the next few days. These swells are likely to

cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please

consult products from your local weather office.


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