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.