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    Elsa Becomes the First Named Hurricane of 2021

    Credit: Unsplash

    Summer marks the beginning of hurricane season, particularly in the state of Florida. As temperatures climb and humidity increases, storms grow in intensity, compounded by recent heatwaves attributed to global climate change. Despite it only being summer for a short while, the first major named hurricane of the season has already emerged.

    Hurricane Elsa, previously Tropical Storm Elsa, is expected to reach Florida early next week. After traversing through the Caribbean, the storm has prompted closures of businesses and schools. Southern Florida may start feeling tropical storm-level winds as early as Sunday evening, leading officials to advise residents to prepare for potential impacts. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has initiated preparations by drafting an emergency order just in case.

    AccuWeather’s senior meteorologist Adam Douty mentioned, “Impacts to the contiguous United States could start as early as Monday night after the system moves through the Caribbean. Residents from the central Gulf Coast through Florida to the Carolina coast should keep an eye on Elsa’s progress.”

    In recent years, hurricane season has been commencing earlier than usual. University of Georgia meteorologist Marshall Shepherd noted that the fifth storm of the season, typically not forming until early August, materialized last year on July 6 with Edouard, setting an early record for the “E” storm. However, Elsa has now surpassed that record.

    Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are currently under a hurricane warning. AccuWeather forecasts heavy rainfall of at least 15 inches in Cuba and Florida by the time the storm passes next week.

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