July 2 (Reuters) – Tropical storm Elsa has strengthened into a hurricane and is about 20 miles (30 kilometers) west-southwest of Barbados with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 km/h), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Friday.
Elsa is located about 70 miles (110 km) east-southeast of Barbados, with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (95 km/h), the NHC said, adding that by Sunday, Elsa is forecast to move near to Jamaica and parts of eastern Cuba.
Elsa’s track will move it through the Windward Islands on Friday. On Saturday the storm will approach Hispaniola. Elsa then moves near Jamaica and Cuba on Sunday.
By Monday evening, Elsa will approach the Florida Keys with sustained winds expected to still be around 65 miles per hour.The current long-range track has Elsa skirting up the Gulf Coast of Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Elsa formed July 1, making it the earliest E-named storm on record, breaking the record set last year by Edouard.