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Tropical Storm Elsa now in Georgia

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 4:26 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2021 at 9:00 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Elsa continues to track through Southeast Georgia with heavy rain bands and some tropical storm force winds. Saint Simons recorded a 51mph wind gust around 7:30pm. As of 8pm, Elsa had 45mph sustained winds with some gusts to 60mph and moving to the north-northeast at 14mph. Heaviest rains are moving up I-95. A tornado watch has been extended until 5am for all the WTOC viewing area excluding Appling, Bacon, Montgomery County and Jeff Davis Counties.

Elsa’s central core remains fragile and subject to subtle changes in strength. Overnight, Elsa weakened back to a Tropical Storm and dumped rain across Florida’s northern Gulf Coast early Wednesday. But it appears to have spared the state significant damage and widespread power outages.

Elsa wobbled through the Gulf of Mexico, briefly reaching hurricane strength, but moved ashore as a tropical storm, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Wednesday in its 11 a.m. advisory. The storm made landfall in Taylor County with a maximum sustained winds clocking 65 mph (105 kph).

Locally, this is not going to be a widespread severe wind event. This is not going to be a widespread severe coastal flooding event. However, it does appear that a large area of rain – and a couple, embedded, strong to severe thunderstorms - moves through today and tonight. The rain will be heavy at times. Some communities may see several rounds of heavy rain; increasing the risk of street flooding later this afternoon and evening.

The worst of Elsa’s local impact occurs this evening.

RAIN | Widespread 1″-3″ of rain; scattered spots pick-up between 3″ and 5″ of rain. One, or two, spots could see between 6″ and 8″ of rain where thunderstorms repeatedly move over the same areas.

WIND | This is not going to be a widespread severe wind event. It’ll be breezy with sustained winds, most likely, remaining between 15 and 25MPH. There could be some gusts to 40 MPH, or so. Winds could be stronger, with sustained winds between 35 and 40 MPH, across open waterways and at the beach. Thunderstorms could produce stronger wind gusts in a couple spots; between 50 and 60 MPH.

TIDES | This is not going to be a severe coastal flooding event. In fact, no coastal flooding is forecast. The highest tide occurs around 5 p.m. Wednesday. The tide is forecast to peak at around 8.6′ near Fort Pulaski Wednesday evening. Tide forecasts could still be adjusted. But, only minor coastal flooding would be expected even in a ‘worst case’.

SEVERE | Widespread severe weather is not expected. A few thunderstorms may become severe and produce wind gusts to 60 MPH and isolated tornadoes. Make sure you have at least one way to get severe weather alerts Wednesday.

The WTOC Weather Team will keep you updated as we track Elsa through our area. Some forecast adjustments are still possible. Though, an increase in the severity of forecast impacts remains unlikely.

Watch our Team Coverage throughout the day here.

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