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Forecasters: Elsa likely to become first hurricane of 2021

| Staff Reporters
AccuWeather forecasters continued to keep a close eye on Tropical Storm Elsa after it was named the fifth storm of the Atlantic hurricane season early Thursday morning. The storm is likely to strengthen into the first hurricane of 2021 in the Atlantic and is predicted to approach the United States next week after it unleashes heavy rain, strong winds and stirs up dangerous seas in the Caribbean islands starting on Friday.
Provided by Accuweather

Elsa was racing westward at 28 mph Thursday afternoon, about 680 miles east-southeast of the Windward Islands and had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

The system is expected to take a turn to the west-northwest Thursday, and a general path in the same direction is forecast to continue as the storm moves into the Caribbean this weekend.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia and Martinique, with a tropical storm watch in effect for Guadeloupe and Grenada, according to the National Weather Service.

AccuWeather meteorologists are concerned that Elsa could strengthen into a hurricane as it approaches the Windward Islands. But, even if it doesn’t reach hurricane force by the time it reaches the islands, the storm is still expected to become a hurricane over central Caribbean waters this weekend. A hurricane has maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or greater.

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