Hurricane Elsa Strengthens as It Churns Toward Cuba and Florida

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Hurricane Elsa Strengthens as It Churns Toward Cuba and Florida” – below is their description.

Elsa, the first hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic storm season, strengthened as it entered the Caribbean and headed toward Florida, the latest bout of extreme weather to batter the Northern Hemisphere.

The category 1 storm was about 580 miles (933 kilometers) southeast of the Dominican Republic, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Friday. It had maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour, making it the eastern Caribbean’s strongest July storm in 16 years.

Elsa, moving at 29 mph, is on track to strike Florida by Tuesday and could veer into the Gulf of Mexico and threaten oil and gas platforms. The storm, however, may weaken and change course as it moves over Cuba.

“There is risk of storm surge, wind, and rainfall impacts in the Florida Keys and portions of the Florida Peninsula early next week,” Jack Beven, a senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center, said in an advisory. “However, the forecast uncertainty remains larger than usual due to Elsa’s potential interaction with the Greater Antilles this weekend.”

Elsa is the Atlantic’s fifth named storm in what forecasters expect will be an unusually busy season. It’s first time in modern records that the Atlantic basin has produced that many storms so early in the year. It comes after a record heat wave that continues to sear Canada and the Northwest U.S. and as extreme temperatures have smothered China, Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

The hurricane is now the strongest to hit the eastern Caribbean in July since Emily in 2005, Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the Colorado State University seasonal hurricane forecast, said in a tweet. He also noted that it’s the farthest east that an Atlantic hurricane has formed this early in the year since 1933.

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