MIAMI — Tropical Storm Elsa neared the Florida Keys early Tuesday , hitting the island chain with heavy rain and gusty wind.
The rest of South Florida will also get some rough weather, with the potential for tornadoes. Forecasters predict an 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms in Miami-Dade and a 70% chance in Broward County, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm is is expected to slowly strengthen as it creeps along Florida's Gulf coast, and it could be near hurricane strength before making landfall in the state.
A hurricane warning was issued Tuesday for the west-central and Big Bend coast of Florida, from Egmont Key to the Steinhatchee River. A hurricane watch is also in effect for the area.
Here's what to know about Elsa's track:
Q. Where is Elsa now?
A. Elsa was about 50 miles southwest of Key West with maximum sustained winds at 60 mph with higher gusts, as of the National Hurricane Center's 5 a.m. Tuesday advisory.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center. A wind gust of 45 mph was recently measured in Sand Key, according to the hurricane center.
Q. Where is Elsa going and how strong will it be?
Elsa was moving toward the north-northwest near 12 mph and is expected to make a turn toward the north by Tuesday night.