Hurricane Elsa made landfall this morning in the ‘neck’ of Florida after a start in the Atlantic and fast travels across the Caribbean. You can see the tropical storm (orange) and hurricane (red) winds showing Elsa’s path:
Let alone that Elsa was the EARLIEST fifth-named storm on record (forming on July 1 beating out last year’s Tropical Storm Edouard which formed July 6), this tropical cyclone formed in an important region of the Atlantic Basin known as the MDR -- the Main Development Region. You can see that area boxed below:
This is an important area that the National Hurricane Center region watches for hurricanes to form from August to October. NOT in July! Most storms will form over the Gulf or Caribbean this time of year, but Elsa had other ideas, forming farther east in the Atlantic. Dr. Phil Klotzbach noted that this hasn’t happened since 1933′s Trinidad hurricane:
#Elsa has reached #hurricane strength at 59.8°W - the farthest east that a hurricane has formed this early in the calendar year in the tropical Atlantic (south of 23.5°N) since 1933. pic.twitter.com/tYYNMTIG2U— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) July 2, 2021
So Elsa formed early and farther east AND the storm moved FAST at a record 29 mph while intensifying rapidly. That also set a record. You can see how that compares to other tropical systems forming, rapidly intensifying and how fast they moved:
I predict that Elsa will be much more remembered as the star of “Frozen” than the star of the 2021 Tropical Season, but the storm nonetheless set records and in that regard foreshadows a long 2021 for storm formation.
Thanks to NOAA for providing great information on Elsa!