Tropical Storm Elsa forms in the Atlantic, South Florida in forecast cone

Tropical Storm Elsa formed over the tropical Atlantic on Thursday morning and is expected to cause heavy rains that may lead to isolated flash flooding and mudslides in the Caribbean.

South Florida remains in the forecast cone and could be affected by the storm on Tuesday morning.

Still, Local 10 News meteorologist Julie Durda said the cone of concern is large and we still have a lot of time for the forecast to change.

She said South Florida has a 50% to 60% chance of rain Thursday afternoon, but drier weather is forecast for this weekend.

According to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach, Elsa is the earliest fifth named storm on record, beating out last year’s Eduardo which formed on July 6.

Durda said we typically would see an E named storm around the end of July or early August.

The National Hurricane Center says Elsa had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph with higher gusts and was 780 miles east southeast of The Windward Islands.

Elsa is forecast to produce rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches with maximum totals of 8 inches on Friday across the Windward and southern Leeward Islands, including Barbados.

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Grenada and its dependencies.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the following areas: Barbados, Martinique, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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