BEAUMONT, Texas — The National Hurricane Center says Elsa has strengthened into a hurricane.
As of Friday morning, Elsa had a sustained wind of 74 mph with a gust to 86 mph as reported at Barbados.
The hurricane is not expected to be a problem for Texas, but the Caribbean and Florida are watching the forecast path closely. KHOU 11 Meteorologist Chita Craft says Houston can expect a front this weekend and rainy weather, but that front will help to keep the tropical activity well to our east.
National Hurricane Center key messaging — 7 a.m. Friday
1. Hurricane conditions are occurring on Barbados and are expected elsewhere in the Hurricane Warning area in the next few hours. Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin later this morning in other portions of the Windward and Leeward Islands. Tropical storm conditions are expected and hurricane conditions are possible over southern portions of Hispaniola on Saturday. Tropical storm conditions are possible over Jamaica beginning Saturday night.
2. Heavy rainfall from Elsa will move quickly across the Windward and southern Leeward Islands today, including Barbados. Outer rain bands will impact Puerto Rico late today into Saturday, and southern Hispaniola and Jamaica Saturday into Sunday. Flooding and mudslides are possible.
3. There is a risk of wind and rainfall impacts in portions of Cuba. the Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas through early next week. Interests in these areas should monitor Elsa's progress and updates to the forecast.
4. There is a risk of storm surge. wind, and rainfall impacts in the Florida Keys and portions of the Florida Peninsula early next week. However, the forecast uncertainty remains larger than usual due to Elsa's potential interaction with the Greater Antilles this weekend. Interests in Florida should monitor Elsa's progress and updates to the forecast.