MIAMI, Florida – Elsa, the first hurricane of 2021 in the Atlantic basin, moved this Saturday towards the south of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti) with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 km / h) and is expected to the meteorological situation in the area deteriorates in the next few hours.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) of the United States, at 8 a.m. Miami time (2:00 p.m. GMT), the center of Elsa was located about 110 miles (175 km) southeast of Beta Island, in the Republic of Dominicana, already about 440 miles (710 km) east southeast of Kingston (Jamaica).
The hurricane is heading west northwest at a speed of 31 miles per hour (50 km / h), which is expected to decrease slightly on Saturday afternoon and Sunday, after which it will make a turn to the northwest on Sunday night or Monday.
Based on the predicted trajectory, Elsa will pass near the southern coast of Hispaniola today and it will move near Jamaica and sectors of eastern Cuba on Sunday.
Elsa will approach Florida starting Monday
For Monday, Elsa is forecast to advance over central and western Cuba towards Florida (USA).
Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph (120 km / h) with higher gusts, but on Sunday or Monday they will register a slight decrease in speed.
Hurricane force winds extend up to 25 miles (35 km) from downtown Elsa and tropical storm force winds extend up to 125 miles (205 kilometers).
The entire area through which Elsa is expected to pass is under a meteorological alert.
In addition to Elsa’s wind whip, the advisory zones may experience sea level rises of up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) at some points due to storm surge.
Puerto Rico will start to feel the rains today
The outer bands of rain associated with Elsa will begin to impact Puerto Rico today with rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches (25.4 to 76.2 mm), and 5 inches (127 mm) in some places) , which can cause isolated flash floods and minor river overflows, as well as mudslides.
In areas of southern Hispaniola and Jamaica, rainfall can reach a maximum of 15 inches (381 mm) in certain places and with equal risks, as in the Cayman Islands and Cuba.
By early next week, Elsa is expected to impact parts of South Florida and the Keys, resulting in precipitation of a maximum of six inches (152.4 mm).
Tropical storms Ana, Bill, Claudette and Danny have been recorded before Elsa this year.
Meteorologists predict that it will be a hurricane season above normal but without reaching that of 2020, which broke all historical records.