With the beginning of summer once again comes hurricane season, especially down in Florida. As the temperatures rise and the humidity climbs, storms become more frequent and more powerful, not helped by the recent heat waves brought on by global climate change. It’s only official been summer for a couple of weeks, but we’ve already got our first major named hurricane on deck.
Hurricane Elsa, formerly Tropical Storm Elsa, is on track to make landfall in Florida early next week. This morning, the storm finished its voyage through the Caribbean, prompting business and school closures. South Florida could start experiencing tropical storm-force winds as soon as Sunday night, so officials have begun advising residents to make preparations just in case. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has already begun drafting an emergency order just in case.
“Impacts to the contiguous United States would begin Monday night at the earliest after the system passes through the Caribbean. Residents from the central Gulf Coast, across Florida and to the Carolina coast should monitor the progress of Elsa,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Adam Douty.
The first hurricane of the 2021 season could near the Florida Peninsula by next week https://t.co/CwcQIH2meN
— CNN (@CNN) July 2, 2021
Over the last few years, hurricane season seems to have been starting in earnest earlier and earlier. According to University of Georgia meteorologist Marshall Shepherd, the fifth storm of the season, known as the “E” Storm, usually doesn’t form until early August. However, just last year, the E Storm came into being on July 6 in the form of Edouard. Edouard previously held the record for earliest recorded E storm, though Elsa has just smashed that record.
Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are currently under a hurricane warning. AccuWeather is predicting at least 15 inches of rain in Cuba and Florida by the storm passes next week.