MIAMI, Fla. -- Tropical Storm Elsa has formed in the Atlantic Ocean and is on track to move through the Caribbean Sea over the next several days.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says the tropical storm formed from a tropical depression northeast of South America on Thursday. Elsa is the earliest fifth named storm on record, according to Colorado State University meteorologists.
Tropical Storm #Elsa has formed in the central tropical Atlantic - the 5th named storm of 2021 Atlantic #hurricane season to date. Elsa is earliest calendar year 5th Atlantic named storm on record, breaking old record set last year by Edouard (July 6). pic.twitter.com/j5Uzi7BVbh
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) July 1, 2021
The NHC says tropical storm conditions are expected in portions of the Windward and the southern Leeward Islands beginning early Friday.
Heavy rainfall from the storm system will move quickly across the islands, including Barbados, on Friday, causing isolated flash flooding and possible mudslides, according to the NHC.
Officials say there will be 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.
As of Thursday morning, Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
As for the storm’s potential impact on Florida, the NHC says it is too soon to determine if any impacts could occur in the state over the next week, given the uncertainty in the long-range forecast.