Update: Tropical Storm Elsa near hurricane strength – NWS
The U.S. Coast Guard has set port condition Zulu for the ports of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Manatee, and Ft. Myers in Florida ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa. Port condition Zulu is also in place for the Port of Key West.
During port condition Zulu, no vessels may enter or transit within the ports without permission of the Captain of the Port. All vessel movements are prohibited and all ship-to-shore operations must cease until further notice.
The National Weather Service says Hurricane conditions are expected along a portion of Florida’s West Coast beginning Tuesday evening, with a Hurricane Warning now effect for the west coast of Florida from Egmont Key to the Steinhatchee River.
According to NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center, as of 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday, the center of Tropical Storm Elsa was located about 65 miles (105 km) west-northwest of Key West and about 215 miles (345 km) south of Tampa, Florida. Maximum sustained winds are reported near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts.
For ports of Tampa, sustained gale force winds 34-47 mph or higher are possible within 12 hours.
On its forecasted track, Elsa will continue to pass near the Florida Keys and move near or over portions of the west coast of Florida later today through tonight. Elsa is forecasted to make landfall along the north Florida Gulf coast before moving across the southeastern United States through Thursday.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for the west coast of Florida from Bonita Beach to the Aucilla River, including Tampa Bay.
Meanwhile, a Tropical Storm Watch continues in effect from the mouth of St. Marys River to South Santee River, South Carolina. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area in Georgia and South Carolina Wednesday night and early Thursday.
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