Tropical Storm Elsa has become the earliest “E” storm on record, surpassing the record set just last year in 2020 by 5 days. The overall organization of the system has remained about the same throughout the day Thursday, with banding features having developed over the west and southwest portion of the circulation along with pulses of deep convection. Elsa appears to be a developing tropical storm, with a large circulation. Based on the latest forecast information, Elsa is not expected to be a threat to the western Gulf or the Texas coast. But this is certainly not set in stone and the forecast track of Elsa will need to be closely monitored over the next few days.

As of 4:00 pm CDT Thursday, the center of Tropical Storm Elsa was located over the tropical Atlantic, roughly 410 miles east-southeast of Barbados. Elsa was moving toward the west-northwest near 29 mph and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.

Colorado State University/RAMMB 07/01/21 1:30 pm CDT

On the forecast track, Elsa will pass near or over portions of the Windward Islands or the southern Leeward Islands on Friday, move into the eastern Caribbean Sea late Friday and 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.

Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

It should be noted the track confidence at days 3-5 remains lower than average.