For the latest information on storm activity in the Cayman Islands, as well as information on how to prepare for hurricane season, visit Storm Centre.

Tropical Storm Elsa intensified to a Category 1 hurricane Friday morning, according to the US National Hurricane Center.

The NHC said surface observations from Barbados indicate that Elsa’s maximum sustained winds have increased to nearly 75 miles per hour.

Elsa is the first hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

The Sister Islands, as of 6pm on 1 July, were placed under a tropical storm alert.

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Latest track for Hurricane Elsa. Image: National Hurricane Center

Current forecast models, however, have the storm path just north of the Sister Islands.

The Cayman Islands National Weather Service at 8am Friday, 2 July said the current projected path would not result in tropical storm-force winds for the Sister Islands, but rather fresh to strong winds are likely there with slightly slower winds in Grand Cayman.

The Cayman Islands can expect heavy rains leading to flooding over the weekend with a “higher concentration over the Sister Islands,” the NWS said in its 8am bulletin.

“Very rough seas will warrant the issuing of a marine warning from Sunday afternoon,” according to the NWS.

Hurricane Elsa is expected to be in the Cayman area in the next 60 hours.

The Port Authority of the Cayman Islands has urged those with vessels moored in George Town Harbour or along Seven Mile Beach, to monitor the weather system which may potentially impact the Islands this weekend.

Boat owners should secure their vessels and seek the appropriate safe harbour or shelter by this weekend.

It has also advised importers with cargo already on island or with cargo on the way, to clear it with Customs and collect it as soon as possible as the islands prepare for the storm.

The Meteorological Service of Barbados has issued a hurricane warning for Barbados, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines, with Barbados experiencing sustained winds of 74 mph with gusts up to 86 mph.

The Meteorological Service of St. Lucia has issued a hurricane warning for St. Lucia.

The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service has reported flooding in various parts of the country as the outer bands of the storm send rain and bad weather over the twin-island nation.

The storm is located 40 miles west of Barbados, according to the NHC’s 7:30am advisory, and is moving at 28 mph.

“Elsa is moving toward the west-northwest near 28 mph (44 km/h), and this motion is
expected to continue during the next couple of days. On the forecast track, Elsa will pass near or over portions of the Windward Islands or the southern Leeward Islands [Friday] morning,” the Miami-based NHC said.

The storm will move across the eastern Caribbean Sea late Friday night, and move
near the southern coast of Hispaniola on Saturday.

By Sunday, Elsa is forecast to move near Jamaica and portions of eastern Cuba.

The NHC said reports from Barbados indicate that little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

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