From west to east ;
ELSA is seaborne again after slipping the Cuban coast four hours ago and is currently just 60 miles west of Florida Keys headed a touch west of north at 10 knots. The cyclone lost shape and intensity as it crossed Cuba, albeit not without some significant damage and heavy rainfall, but is reorganising and causing tropical storm force gusts across the south-west coast of Florida. There is some possible moderation from upper level shear, but is still likely to regain moderate tropical storm strength. Steering currents are shaping up to take ELSA close to the coast until landfall tomorrow morning somewhere between Tampa and the Cedar Key area. ELSA currently has a hurricane severity of 3 (1 for size and 2 for intensity) producing winds gusting 60 knots over an 80 mile radius. This is expected to peak at landfall with 5 out of 50 (2 for size and 3 for intensity) with winds gusting 70 knots. This has been an unconventional storm from day one and even now, the convection column is out of kilter and the worst of the muck and filth is to the south of the nominal centre. The predominant impacts will be strong winds and heavy rain with a significant storm surge close to landfall and localised tornados spinning off the windfield but with luck, this should not impact on the continued search operation of the collapsed Champlain Towers condominium in Surfside, Florida. After landfall, a turn to the northeast is expected, which will take ELSA across Georgia and the Carolinas before relaunching over the Outer Banks. There still remains a possible swipe along the eastern seaboard as a tropical storm, but this is highly speculative.
Disturbance Fifteen is currently crossing Trinidad heading west at 18 knots. Interaction with land as this scrapes the coast of Venezuela and upper level shear are expected to keep development in check..
Disturbance Sixteen is now centred around 850 miles north-east of the mouth of the Amazon moving west at 16 knots. This is still pulling Saharan air which is keeping this system in check too.
Stand by for tropical storm force conditions along the west coast of Florida.
Image Jennifer Lyon Bell