NHC: Hurricane Elsa to Weaken ‘A Little,’ Then Regain Strength

The National Hurricane Center said late Friday that a reconnaissance aircraft has determined that Hurricane Elsa has weakened “a little” but is expected to restrengthen by late Saturday.Elsa is slated to cross the central Caribbean Sea on Saturday and move near the southern coast of Hispaniola late Saturday or Saturday night, according to the hurricane center.   Elsa is predicted to be near Jamaica and portions of eastern Cuba by Sunday, and portions of central and western Cuba by Sunday night or Monday.Hurricane warnings are in effect Saturday for the southern coast of the Dominican Republic from Punta Palenque to the border with Haiti; the southern portion of Haiti from Port Au Prince to the southern border with the Dominican Republic; and in Jamaica beginning Sunday.A hurricane watch is in effect for the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, and Santiago de Cuba.Meanwhile, a tropical storm warning is in effect for the coast of Haiti north of Port Au Prince and the south coast of the Dominican Republic, east of Punta Palenque to Cabo Engano.The hurricane center said the outer rain bands associated with Elsa will impact Puerto Rico with rainfall totals of 2.5-7.5 centimeters with amounts as much as 12.5 centimeters possible through Saturday. This rain could lead to isolated flash flooding and minor river flooding, along with the potential for mudslides, the center said.Across portions of southern Hispaniola and Jamaica, rainfall of 10-20 centimeters with isolated maximum amounts of 38 centimeters is possible Saturday into Sunday, possibly leading to scattered flash flooding and mudslides.The hurricane center said there is an increasing risk of storm surge, wind and rainfall beginning Monday in the Florida Keys. The impacts could be felt northward along the Florida peninsula through Tuesday.  However, the center emphasizes there is still significant uncertainty about the Florida portion of its forecast. 

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