Tropical Storm Elsa is nearing hurricane strength as it approaches Florida's west coast, where it is expected to bring heavy rain, strong winds and flooding, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The state of play: The NHC says there is "danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline" in Florida's west coast, which is now under a hurricane warning, from Bonita Beach to the Aucilla River, including Tampa Bay.
- The storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 70 mph about 95 miles northwest of Key West at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, per an NHC advisory.
- Cuba will experience heavy rainfall that could lead to flooding and mudslides.
- The NHC says it will become a hurricane before making landfall in Florida.
What to watch: Elsa is expected to move near or over parts of Florida's west coast later today through tonight. It will reach the north Florida Gulf coast on Wednesday, the NHC notes.
- "Mid to late week, heavy rainfall across coastal Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and southeastern Virginia" may result in flooding, the NHC writes. Elsa will weaken as it continues inland.