Tropical Storm Elsa is rapidly moving towards the Southern Windward Islands with tropical storm watches and warnings in effect for several islands from Grenada to Martinique.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the centre of Tropical Storm Elsa was located near latitude 11.2 North, longitude 53.8 West.
Elsa is moving toward the west-northwest near 46 kilometres per hour, and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.
The NHC is forecasting Elsa moving across the Windward Islands on Friday, entering the Caribbean Sea by Friday night.
Maximum sustained winds on Thursday evening were at 75 kilometres per hour, with higher gusts and strengthening is forecast as this system moves between Tobago and Barbados on Friday.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 150 kilometres from the centre, mainly north of the circulation.
This is why Trinidad and Tobago is not under a tropical storm watch or warning, while islands further north are under tropical storm advisories. As of Thursday evening, tropical storm watches are in effect for Grenada and its dependencies and southern and western coasts of Haiti.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Barbados, and Martinique.
The NHC calls for tropical storm conditions beginning on Friday across tropical storm warned areas of the Windwards and southern Leewards and possible tropical storm conditions across the tropical storm watch areas.
Rainfall totals between three to six inches (75 to 150 millimetres) are possible, with isolated totals up to 10 inches (250 millimetres) across the Windwards, southern Leewards, and Barbados.
This rainfall may trigger street and flash flooding, minor riverine flooding, and landslides/mudslides.
In St Vincent, lahars are possible in La Soufriere’s Red and Orange hazard zones.
For Trinidad and Tobago, feeder band activity is forecast beginning on Friday through early Saturday. According to the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS), “Feeder band activity will likely produce periods of rain/showers and isolated thunderstorm activity with possible gusty winds on Friday (2nd July 2021) into Saturday (3rd July 2021) over Trinidad and Tobago. Agitated seas can be expected during this period, especially near Tobago.” The Met Office continues to reiterate Elsa poses no direct threat to Trinidad and Tobago.
Trinidad and Tobago will be under a yellow-level Adverse Weather Alert from 8 pm Friday through 12 pm Saturday. The TTMS is calling for “Periods of rain and showers of varying intensities, are expected mainly overnight (Friday 2nd July 2021/Saturday 3rd July 2021), with a 70 per cent (high) chance of thunderstorm activity. Gusty winds in excess of 55 KM/H may be experienced, especially in the vicinity of downpours, and localized flooding is highly likely. Seas can become agitated at times due to the strong winds.”