Tropical Depression Five has strengthened to Tropical Storm Elsa, resulting in the tropical storm watch for St. Vincent and the Grenadines being upgraded to a tropical storm warning at 5 a.m. Thursday.
A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area within 36 hours.
Elsa is the fifth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
At 5 a.m., the centre of Tropical Storm Elsa was located near latitude 9.4 degrees north; longitude 48.8 degree west, or approximately 865 miles (1390 kilometres) east southeast of the Windward Islands.
The system is moving towards the west near 25 mph (41 km/h). An even faster motion to the west-northwest is expected over the next 24 to 36 hours.
On its present forecast track, the centre of the system is predicted to pass near or over portions of the Windward Islands or the southern Leeward Islands on Friday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days.
Rainfall accumulations of 3 to 6 inches (75 to 150 mm) can be expected, with higher amount over mountainous terrains. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
In addition, marine conditions are expected to become rough to very rough on Friday with sea swells increasing to 3.5 to 5.0 meters (12 to 16 feet).
Residents are advised to make the necessary preparations and keep updated on the progress of Tropical Storm Elsa.