Tropical depression five forms; warnings issued in the Windward Islands | The Weather Channel – Articles de The Weather Channel

  • A tropical depression has formed in the Atlantic east of the Lesser Antilles.
  • This system is expected to head towards the Lesser Antilles in the form of Tropical Storm Elsa Thursday evening and Friday.
  • Its future regarding the potential impact of the United States remains very uncertain next week.

A tropical storm is expected to head towards the Caribbean and has triggered new warnings for the Windward Islands and Windward Islands.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Tropical Depression Five formed late Wednesday evening about 1,000 miles east of the Windward Islands.

Tropical storm warnings were issued for parts of the Windward Islands, where tropical storm force conditions (winds of at least 39 mph) were expected within 36 hours. These areas are shown in red on the map below.

All current tropical storm watches are shown in yellow on the map below, which means tropical storm conditions are possible in these areas within the next 48 hours.


This system is moving rapidly west-northwest at 20 to 25 mph. This should allow her to arrive in the Windward and Southern Leeward Islands by Thursday evening or Friday.

Systems moving this fast usually have a hard time gaining much force, so we would expect it to be a tropical storm when it hits the Windward Islands. Formerly a tropical storm, it will bear the name of Elsa.


Current state and forecast path

(The area in red indicates the potential trajectory of the center of the tropical cyclone. It is important to note that the impacts (especially heavy rains, heavy waves, coastal flooding, winds) with any tropical cyclone generally extend to the beyond its intended trajectory.)

Either way, it will bring heavy rains and gusty winds to these islands by Friday.

The NHC says total precipitation of 3 to 6 inches with isolated totals of up to 8 inches is possible on Friday in the Windward and Southern Leeward Islands. This could result in isolated flash floods and mudslides. That said, the fast forward speed of the system will limit the threat of heavy rain which might otherwise be greater.

This system will then cross the central and western Caribbean over the weekend. Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Cuba could see heavy rainfall from this system this weekend.

There are still important forecasting factors to be taken into account once this system enters the Caribbean, which will influence its future.

One of these is the wind shear that will be in place as it crosses the eastern and central Caribbean Sea. Wind shear, or unfavorable altitude winds, can tear tropical systems apart.

At present, windshear is of modest force in parts of the Caribbean. But some forecasts indicate wind shear could relax some by this weekend, eventually allowing Elsa to gain strength, rather than losing her.

(AFTER: What to expect from hurricane season in July)

(Areas of cloud are shown in white. Areas of strong windshear, the difference in wind speed and direction with height, are shown in purple. Strong windshear is hostile to mature tropical cyclones and to those who are trying to develop.)

Another factor is the amount of land interactions with Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and / or Cuba that could weaken this system over the holiday weekend.

One final big uncertainty is when and how much the system is expected to make a northwest turn later this weekend and early next week.

The range of results extends from an earlier and more pronounced northwest then north then northeast turn, returning well off the southeast coast to a much smoother, subtle and late northwest turn in the Gulf of Mexico.

If the system heads to Florida later Monday appears to be the earliest, that system could impact parts of South Florida.

Check back to for updates over the next few days as forecast uncertainty recedes.

The earliest forming the fifth named storm?

If this system becomes Elsa before or early on July 5, it would be the fifth earliest named Atlantic storm on record. The current record is held by Edouard, who developed on the evening of July 5, 2020.

The name Elsa is new to the list of rotating names used this season. This year’s list was last used in 2015, but Erika was Storm “E” that year.

Erika retired after causing deadly and destructive flooding on the Caribbean island of Dominica. Elsa replaced him.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on the latest weather news, the environment and the importance of science in our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.


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