Elsa strengthens to a hurricane, could threaten South Florida early next week

Tropical Storm Elsa strengthened to a hurricane Friday morning, making it the first hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, and South Florida remains in the cone of concern.

Still, the long-range forecast path remains uncertain. South Florida could feel its impact early next week.

According to The National Hurricane Center, Elsa is currently moving west northwest at 28 mph with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

As of the 7:45 a.m. advisory, it was located 20 miles west southwest of Barbados and is battering the eastern Caribbean, where officials closed schools, businesses and airports under the threat of flash flooding and landslides.

Heavy rains and winds lashed Barbados on Friday as the Category 1 storm aimed for other nearby islands including St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which are still struggling to recover from recent volcanic eruptions.

A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the southern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the border with Haiti, as well as for the entire coast of Haiti.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the southern portion of the country from Port Au Prince to the southern border with the Dominican Republic.

Check back to Local 10 News Weather Authority for updates as the forecast becomes more specific over the next few days.

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