Tropical Storm Elsa tracks near or just west of Key West

Tropical Storm Elsa has the potential of strengthening back into a hurricane Sunday, as it continues to track near or just west of Key West.

According to the National Hurricane Center Miami, Elsa was very near eastern Cuba and Jamaica where heavy rains and tropical storm winds are expected Sunday.

Related story: Fourth of July weather in S. Fla.

As of the 5 a.m. advisory, Elsa had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and was about 85 miles east of Kingston, Jamaica, and about 185 miles east of Cabo Cruz, Cuba. It was moving west-northwest at 14 mph.

There is a tropical storm watch in effect for the Florida Keys from Craig Key westward to the Dry Tortugas. It’s also in effect for Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, and the Cuban provinces of Matanzas, Mayabeque, and Havana.

Related story: Bryan Norcross’ analysis on Tropical Storm Elsa

The Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, and Santiago de Cuba were under a hurricane storm watch.

A tropical storm warning was issued for southern Haiti and Cuba’s provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, Santiago de Cuba, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, and Cienfuegos.

Related story: 3 dead as Elsa speeds through Caribbean, aims for Cuba

Officials attributed at least three deaths in the Caribbean to the storm. One was in St. Lucia and a 15-year-old boy and a 75-year-old woman died in the Dominican Republic.

Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Saturday in 15 counties in Florida including Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. The other 13 counties are Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota.

Related story: Monroe County declares local state of emergency due to Elsa


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