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Tropical Storm Elsa Expected To Drop Rain On Drought-Stricken U.S. Virgin Islands

BRIDGETOWN — Tropical Storm Elsa formed early this morning east of the Windward Islands and is expected to pass south of the U.S. Virgin Islands tomorrow, according to the latest forecast models. It is currently projected to pass 220 miles south of the U.S. Virgin Islands late tomorrow.

“There is a risk of wind and rainfall impacts in portions of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba, the Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas through early next week,” according to the National Hurricane Center.

“Interests in these areas should monitor the system’s progress and updates to the forecast,” the NHC said.

The storm is expected to pass over Barbados tomorrow morning before moving across the Windward Islands in the afternoon, then track west-northwest from the southeastern Caribbean late Friday and be in the vicinity of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico early Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center forecast.

Elsa is the earliest-known fifth named storm recorded for the Atlantic basin in the “satellite” era, which began in 1966, according to the National Hurricane Center. The previous record was formerly held by Edouard on July 6, 2020.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Warnings also are in effect for Barbados, Martinique and St. Lucia. A tropical storm watch was issued at 8 a.m. today for Grenada and its dependencies. A watch is also in effect for Guadeloupe.

Forecasters expect additional watches and warnings will be issued later today and say that tropical storm conditions will likely begin in the warning and watch areas tomorrow.

Elsa was about 750 miles east-southeast of the Windward Islands, as of the hurricane center’s 8 a.m. advisory today.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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