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Tropical Storm Elsa nears Cuba. Track nudges west, likely easing impact on Florida Keys

Alex Harris and Gwen Filosa, Miami Herald on

Published in Weather News

“This is mostly going to be squalls,” said meteorologist Jon Rizzo, of the National Weather Service in Key West, during Monday’s 9:30 a.m. countywide conference call of Keys leaders.

“You’re not going to have hours and hours of sustained winds,” he said.

Tropical-storm-force winds are likely to arrive in Key West in the form of frequent, fast-moving squalls between 10 p.m. to midnight and continue through about 12 p.m Tuesday.

In the Upper Keys, however, Rizzo said the chances of tropical storm winds are falling and the tropical storm watch there may be discontinued later Monday.

Monroe County officials still recommend that those in RVs, mobile homes, travel trailers and boats either leave the Keys by sunset Monday or find safer housing throughout the duration of the storm.

Residents should “have homes, boats and yards secure and be ready to shelter in place by sunset,” said Shannon Weiner, director of the emergency management office on Monday morning.

The Tampa Bay and Bradenton area could see 6 inches of rain this week as the storm nears, while the Keys are more likely to see 2 to 4 and Miami could see one or two.

Florida could also see 1 to 2 feet of storm surge from the Keys north to the Suwannee, with Tampa Bay expecting the most at 2 to 4 feet.

 

Winds are likely to pick up in Bradenton starting Tuesday morning with a peak of 29 mph sustained winds and gusts of up to 37 mph, according to the weather service.

WARNINGS AND WATCHES

A tropical storm watch along the coast of the Florida panhandle has been extended westward to Indian Pass, Florida.

— A tropical storm warning on the west coast of Florida has been extended northward to the Suwannee River.

— A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Cuban provinces of Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Villa Clara, Mayabeque, Havana and Artemisa; the Florida Keys from Craig Key westward to the Dry Tortugas, and the west coast of Florida from Flamingo to the Suwannee River.

— A storm surge watch is in effect for the west coast of Florida from Bonita Beach to Ochlockonee River.

— A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Florida Keys from east of Craig Key to Ocean Reef, Florida Bay, north of the Suwannee River to Indian Pass, Florida.

©2021 Miami Herald. Visit at miamiherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
 

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