Elsa is now a Category 1 hurricane as she heads toward Florida

As of 8am on Friday morning, Elsa is now a Category 1 hurricane.

According to the National Hurricane Center, surface observations from Barbados indicate that Elsa has become a hurricane.

“More revisions of the intensity forecast are likely on the next regular advisory,” wrote the NHC. “An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is currently entering the hurricane, and a NOAA aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system this afternoon.”:

According to the update, there are no changes to the forecast track at this time.

New information we know from Okaloosa County Public Safety:

  • Maximum sustained winds have increased to 75 mph.
  • Reconnaissance flights into Hurricane Elsa will begin today.
  • Based on the latest forecast track and only if this system does enter into the southeast Gulf of Mexico early next week, the first impacts would be along the beaches. Long period swells could reach the beaches midweek resulting in a rapid increase in the rip current risk and surf heights.

Additional Info:

  • There will be NO impacts through the Holiday Weekend.
  • Hurricane Elsa continues to move rapidly west-northwest at 28 mph.
  • Track and intensity guidance varies greatly, and the National Hurricane Center has advised that this is a low confidence forecast. Historically, the track error on Day 5 is upwards of 200 miles. 
  • Okaloosa will closely monitor this system for small shifts in the track early on, even by a few degrees, which can mean large shifts later in time.

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