Elsa’s Path: Details and Timing for the Panhandle

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Tropical Storm Elsa is moving on its path toward the Big Bend of Florida. The storm strengthened Tuesday afternoon, regaining its Category 1 hurricane status. However, overnight, the system has weakened, and as of Wednesday morning Elsa was back to tropical storm strength. It will likely make landfall near Cedar Key, FL this morning.

After the storm moves ashore it should rapidly weaken. It will pick up forward speed and run up the east coast where squally weather and isolated tornadoes will be possible on the south and east side of the system.

As for the Panhandle little impacts are expected. The greatest impact will be across coastal areas of Franklin County. One to two feet of storm surge will be possible there. Winds across Franklin county could gust to 40 mph. Winds away from coastal areas in Franklin county should be less than 30 mph. As shown below the highest possible wind gust will come in the far eastern part of Franklin county.

Overall the Panhandle is expected to have very little influence from this tropical system. The storm will pass off to the east leaving the Panhandle on the west side of the system. We will see some scattered storms from some exterior rain bands moving in today. Dry air will be mixing around the storm, but there will still be the ability for pop-up showers and storms to form outside rain bands with the heating of the day today and Thursday.

This map might help for the directional purposes from the common nicknames used for our area.

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