Greetings from New Hometown, Florida, Dear Reader. It’s mid-morning on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, and it is a warm if rather sullen-looking day. Currently, the temperature is 76˚F (24˚C) under partly sunny skies. With humidity at 77% and the wind blowing from the southeast at 15 MPH (24 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 76˚F (24˚C). We are still under a tropical storm warning. The forecast for today, though, is not too bad; scattered showers will affect our area during the day, and the high will be 82˚F (28˚C). Tonight, scattered showers will continue. The low will be 75˚F (24˚C). The Air Quality Index (AQI) is 22 or Good.
Well, former Hurricane, now Tropical Storm Elsa made its way past this section of the state in the early morning hours as we slept. Although I never scoff at any tropical weather events – I have been through enough of them now to understand how powerful and capricious they can be – I wasn’t worried…much. Elsa stayed offshore, and all we got, at least in our neighborhood, were squalls and occasional gusts of strong wind.
Per the “running commentary” news article Elsa remains at 65 mph as it approaches the northern Florida gulf coast on Spectrum Bay 9’s website:
8 a.m. update: Elsa is continuing to move north at 14 mph with 65 mph winds. Little change in strength is likely until landfall later today.
The Tropical Storm and Storm Surge Warnings have been discontinued south of the Middle of Longboat Key.
On the forecast track, Elsa will make landfall along the north Florida Gulf coast by late this morning or this afternoon. The storm should then move across the southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States through Thursday.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km) from the center. A C-MAN station at Cedar Key, Florida, recently measured a sustained wind of 41 mph (66 km/h) gusting to 51 mph (66 km/h).
5 a.m. update: Tropical Storm Elsa is moving north at near 14 mph with wind gusts at 65 mph. A general northward motion is expected to continue through the afternoon as Elsa moves near or over portions of Florida’s west coast.
The storm is expected to make landfall along the north Florida Gulf Coast by late this morning or afternoon. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km) from the center. Weakening will begin after Elsa makes landfall.
2:27 a.m. update: The tornado warning mentioned in the last update has expired.
2:10 a.m. update: A tornado warning is in effect until 2:30 a.m. for eastern Sarasota County and small part of southeast Manatee COunty.
1:50 a.m. update: Elsa has been downgraded to a tropical storm after appearing more disorganized over the last few hours. Tornado Watches remain in effect, though, and the potential threat of storm surge in areas along Tampa Bay hasn’t gone away.
The storm’s center of circulation is currently about 60 miles west of Tampa with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.
It’s moving north at 14 mph.
1:35 a.m. update: The Tornado Warning that was issued for eastern Pasco and Hernando County has been canceled.
1:15 a.m. update: A Tornado Warning has been issued for the Dade City area, including parts of eastern Pasco and Hernando County though 1:30 a.m. If a tornado has touched down, it will be racing to the north at 40 mph.
1:10 a.m. update: TECO is reporting more than 10,500 outages. FPL reporting about 2,200 outages in Manatee County. Duke Energy reporting scattered outages (less than 100) in Pinellas and Pasco counties.
11:50 p.m. update: What to know entering Wednesday morning:
– Gusty rain squalls with wind gusts between 35 and 55mph will still be common as Elsa passes by with some gusts in the 60s still possible at the coast.
– A Tornado Watch remains in effect through 8am as there is still a chance for some tornadoes to spin up as the storm passes by.
– A Flood Watch is still in effect as very heavy rain will fall in the heaviest squalls. 2 to 4 inches will be common with some amounts in the 4 to 8 inch range.
– There’s still a storm surge threat mainly for the overnight/early morning high tide, but it will be limited to isolated low-lying areas and we’re lucky that this high tide is not a particularly high one.
I have not ventured outside to see if any trees were knocked down on other properties, but judging from the calm and quiet environment, it appears that Elsa didn’t do much of anything except raise our stress levels and dump a couple of inches of rain on our corner of Florida.
Other than that, the only news update that I can share with you is that I’m feeling a bit better today. I still have a stuffy nose and the occasional violent sneeze, but the headaches have eased off a bit, and I don’t cough as much as I used to. Hopefully I’ll feel a lot better by the weekend; summer colds are not fun.
Well, that’s it for this edition of A Certain Point of View, Too. Stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.
Elsa remains at 65 mph as it approaches the northern Florida gulf coast, by Juli Marquez, Spectrum Bay 9, July 7, 2021