July 7, 2021 by David Gambrill
Tropical Storm Elsa is tracking to hit the Maritimes this weekend as a post-tropical storm, potentially dumping up to 50 mm of rain in areas of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Currently hitting the Gulf Coast of Florida, Elsa at times has packed high enough winds to register as a Category 1 hurricane, the first of what is expected to be an active hurricane season.
Allianz Global Specialty Risks predicts the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season could feature between 15 to 18 tropical storms, nine reaching hurricane strength, and 2-4 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).
Currently, Elsa’s maximum wind gusts are averaging 100 km/h. Elsa is expected to become a post-tropical storm and blow through Halifax and P.E.I. sometime between Friday and Saturday, with average wind speeds diminishing to 85 km/h. The storm is then projected to hit the northern part of Newfoundland and Labrador, well north of the capital of St. John’s.
By the time Elsa reaches the Maritimes, the storm’s winds will not be as significant as the rainfall, according to the Canadian Hurricane Centre. No dangerous coastal storm surges are expected.
“Widespread damaging winds from Elsa are not expected across the Maritimes at this time,” the Canadian Hurricane Centre commented. “However, some gusty winds are possible just south of its eventual track through the region, potentially gusting to 60 or 70 km/h.
“The most likely impact from Elsa will be rainfall, with areas along and north of its eventual track through the region picking up significant rainfall, likely in excess of 50 mm.”
As of press time, Elsa has been downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane (windspeeds between 119 km/h and 153 km/h) to a tropical storm.
Elsa is forecast to produce flash flooding along the western and northern portions of the Florida Peninsula (average of 3-6 inches of rain), as well as in portions of southeastern Georgia (2-4 inches of rain) and across eastern Carolina and northern New England (1-3 inches of rain).
Feature image courtesy of Canadian Hurricane Centre