When will Hurricane Elsa make landfall in Florida? Category 1 storm set to hit Nature Coast

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a State of Emergency across more than 30 counties

                            When will Hurricane Elsa make landfall in Florida? Category 1 storm set to hit Nature Coast
Heavy rain falls on an almost empty Steinhatchee River in advance of the arrival of Tropical Storm Elsa on July 6, 2021, in Steinhatchee, Florida (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

After Tropical Storm Elsa gained power and became a Category 1 hurricane with sustained gusts of 75 mph as it approached Florida's coast on Tuesday night, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a State of Emergency across more than 30 counties.

Elsa, which stalled rescue operations at the Surfside collapse site strengthened into a hurricane on Friday, July 2. It has broken a record of being the earliest fifth-named storm in the Atlantic. The record was held by Edouard, which was formed on July 6, 2020.


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On Tuesday afternoon, July 6, areas of Massachusetts, including the Boston region, as well as parts of Rhode Island and northern Connecticut, were already under a severe thunderstorm warning. The storm was located approximately 50 miles southwest of Tampa as of 11 pm on Tuesday and was moving north at 10 to 15 miles per hour.


When will Hurricane Elsa make landfall in Florida?

Elsa, which according to CNN is still moving north at 14 mph, parallel to Florida's west coast, and is expected to make landfall in the Nature Coast in the Big Bend region on Wednesday morning, between 8 am and 9 am. Following this, it is expected to track just east of the Triad on Thursday. 

Warnings have been made from Tampa Bay northward to Steinhatchee, including St Petersburg and Cedar Key. Experts believe the Tampa region is particularly vulnerable to storm surges since the offshore seas and Tampa Bay are relatively shallow. DeSantis predicted that the storm will hit the area severely overnight.

The governor said at a news conference on Tuesday, July 6, that this was "not a time to joyride" considering "we do have hazardous conditions out there. "There will definitely be significant impacts from this," he added, speaking to the Weather Channel.


The Miami-based US National Hurricane Center, whose 8 pm advisory on Tuesday stated that the tropical storm had reclaimed its status as a hurricane, warned of life-threatening storm surges, floods and isolated tornadoes in addition to destructive winds and heavy rainfall. While no forced evacuations were ordered as of Tuesday night, the Weather Channel said voluntary evacuations were suggested in some regions, namely for individuals who felt insecure in their homes or who relied on power for medical reasons.

“The roads will be dangerous as this storm passes through. In some ways this is fortunate it's going to be in the wee hours of the night," DeSantis said, warning residents to remain vigilant. "There probably won’t be a lot of traffic on the roads in places like Tampa Bay.”

The storm has already killed three people - one in St Lucie and two others in the Dominican Republic, and battered parts of the Florida Keys. According to Yale Climate Connections, continuous wind speeds in Key West were 43 mph, with gusts reaching 59 mph, while sustained wind speeds at Sand Key, west of Key West, were 53 mph with gusts up to 63 mph.

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