Guzzo’s Grip on Weather: Recapping Hurricane Elsa

Weather Wisdom

Hello everyone! I’m meteorologist Nick Guzzo, and this is Guzzo’s Grip on Weather. This is where we talk weather and climate news, do experiments, and have some fun! Last week, I talked about hurricane Elsa and where the tropical system was going. This week we are recapping hurricane Elsa’s path and the impacts it caused. Elsa originated in the main development region of the Atlantic Ocean which is no stranger to tropical development given its name but it usually does not happen in July. On July 1st, tropical depression 5 strengthen into tropical storm Elsa which Elsa then became the second farthest east named storm this early in the season. This also marked the earliest named “E” storm on record in the Atlantic. Elsa continued to strengthen and became a hurricane on July 2 while impacting Barbados. A sustained wind of 74 mph was recorded on the island which justified Elsa’s upgrade to a hurricane. Barbados had not been impacted by a hurricane in 66 years and Elsa brought gusty winds and heavy rain to the island. Damage was seen across the island with trees being knocked down, roofs being blown off homes, and 62 houses being completely destroyed. Near the island of Barbados, Elsa reached its peak intensity with winds of 85 mph and a central pressure of 991 millibars. After Barbados, Elsa continued to move westward at a racing speed of nearly 30 mph through the Caribbean Sea. Due to wind shear, which was partially caused by Elsa’s fast forward speed, the tropical system weakened back to a tropical storm. As Elsa passed near Jamaica and the Hispaniola, its forward speed slowed to 10 to 15 mph. Eventually, on July 5th, Elsa made landfall in Cuba with sustained winds of 60mph. Several hours later, Elsa entered the Gulf of Mexico and began strengthening. By July 6th, Elsa had regained hurricane status with winds of 75 mph and a central pressure of 996 millibars. Dry air and wind shear weakened Elsa again before it made landfall in Florida with winds of 65 mph. Elsa began to race up the East Coast. In the Northeast, Elsa spawned multiple tornadoes, produced gusts upwards of 70 mph, and dropped up to five inches of rain. The heavy rain caused New York City subway stations to flood. Flooding was seen across multiple states including West Haven, Connecticut. Afterwards, Elsa became post tropical on July 9th which means it lost its tropical characteristics and became just an area of low pressure while impacting the Canadian Maritimes. During Elsa’s lifespan, it brought impacts to a lot of people and many different locations. Now the cleanup begins.  

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Now