As Elsa Approaches, Tropical Storm Watch Issued for Parts of New England

Winds may gust 50 to 55 mph on the Cape Islands on Friday as the powerful storm passes New England

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Parts of the New England coast are now under a tropical storm watch as Elsa continues to have the region in its sites.

The storm is moving into southern Georgia Wednesday afternoon and could impact New England late Thursday or early Friday.

"A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the coast of southern New England from New Haven, Connecticut to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts including Cape Cod, Block Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket," the National Weather Service wrote in its latest hurricane advisory.

National Hurricane Center

Hot and humid weather continued Wednesday with scattered afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Some storms may become strong to severe with damaging wind and torrential rain.

High temperatures will reach into the low 90s across the interior, mid to upper 80s near the coast.

Overnight, scattered showers and thunderstorms will begin to wane with the loss of daytime heating. A frontal boundary will stall along the South Coast, with winds shifting to the north and northeast north of the front. Renewed showers and storms will develop by daybreak along this boundary. It will be a bit cooler, with temperatures dropping down into the low to mid 60s.

On Thursday, the frontal boundary will move back north again over the region, yielding an increased shower and thunderstorm threat, with heavy rains across Vermont. Highs will reach into the mid 70s to low 80s south of the stalled front, and the upper 60s north of the front.

All eyes turn to the remnants of Tropical Storm Elsa by Friday. Tropical moisture surges into New England during this time, with the center of circulation passing somewhere over southern New England. A swath of 1.5 to 2-plus inches will likely set up across interior New England. Wind gusts will increase to 50 to 55 mph across the Cape and Islands, with power outages and wind damage possible during this timeframe.

Tropical Storm Elsa is hitting the Florida Keys with heavy rain and strong winds. NBC Miami reporter Cristian Benavides shows a beach in Key West where winds are battering palm trees and storm surge is coming up onto the beach.

Farther north and west, winds will be substantially decreased. An isolated spin-up cannot be ruled out during the day Friday as Elsa treks across the area. Offshore, waves will build to 10 to 20 feet. Highs rise into the mid 70s.

Looking ahead to the weekend, a frontal boundary may still be lingering over the region as the remnants of Elsa pulls northeast into Nova Scotia. This may provide a focus for afternoon showers. High temperatures will reach into the mid 70s.

An area of high pressure will move in on Sunday, bringing mostly sunny skies and mild temperatures in the upper 70s. Early next week, a warm front lifts north, bringing a shower and thunderstorm threat on the exclusive First Alert 10-Day Forecast on NBC10 Boston and NECN.

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