Elsa to Hit Florida as Tropical Storm

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Elsa will come ashore Wednesday on Florida’s northwest coast, bringing a storm surge and heavy rain but will spare the area hurricane force winds.  
After briefly increasing once again to hurricane strength late Tuesday, Elsa weakened overnight as it approached the western Florida coastline. The hurricane center says Elsa was about 55 kilometers west of Cedar Key, and about 185 km northwest of the city of Tampa.  
The storm has maximum sustained winds of about 100 km per hour. Forecasters say it is expected to make landfall along the north Florida Gulf coast by late Wednesday morning or early afternoon local time (Eastern Daylight).  The storm should then move across the southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States through Thursday.
In comments to the media, Florida Governor Ron Desantis said the state is fortunate because the situation is better than it looked three days ago, and the impact is likely to be less than first thought.
Storm surge warnings are in effect for large areas of western Florida from near the city of Sarasota, south of Tampa, to coastal areas 315 kilometers to the north, near the capital city of Tallahassee. Those areas could see one to two meters of water pushed inland from the coastline.
Little change in strength is likely until landfall later today. Weakening will begin once Elsa moves over land.
Elsa swept over Cuba’s southcentral coast Monday, bringing strong winds, heavy rains and storm surges.  
Cuban officials said they had evacuated 180,000 people from homes in flood-prone areas.

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