Speed Reads

wild weather

Tropical Storm Elsa expected to become hurricane before making landfall in Florida

Now battering the Florida Keys, Tropical Storm Elsa is expected to strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall over the northern Gulf Coast early Wednesday.

The storm is bringing heavy winds to the Keys, and will likely drop as much as eight inches of rain. As of 5 p.m. ET, Elsa was roughly 155 miles south-southwest of Tampa, moving 10 mph to the north, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

There are storm surge warnings, tornado watches, and emergency evacuation orders in place across southern Florida, with officials worried about the winds taking down trees and power lines; already, thousands of Floridians have lost electricity because of Elsa. "If you look at how lopsided this storm is, anything to the east of the eye will have some storm impacts for sure," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said. After making landfall, forecasters expect Elsa to move across the southeastern U.S. through Thursday.