Elsa will either be a strong tropical storm or minimal hurricane before reaching the Florida coast on Wednesday. The storm is expected to make landfall north of Tampa in the afternoon. It will move across south Georgia and the Carolinas before heading for New England.
The storm will weaken over land in the midweek, but could be reinvigorated if it emerges over the Atlantic Ocean south of New England. The interesting part of that is the impact will likely be lower for most of Southern New England if the storm heads off the Mid-Atlantic coast and passes by Nantucket on Friday. The worst part of the storm is on the eastern side, and as the storm goes farther east it takes that bad weather away from land. If the storm hugs the coast or passes inland, it will bring heavier rain to Southern New England, but the strong wind potential may be limited as the storm weakens inland.
The bottom-line is the exact track of the storm is not known, and the potential exists for anywhere between a glancing blow with some rain and minimal wind impact to heavy rain and gusty winds, with a low threat for spin-up tornadoes. Because the storm will be moving inland over the Southeastern United States, and may continue to hug the coast in the Mid-Atlantic, I do not think the potential for damaging wind is extremely high. The storm will be moving pretty quickly, and it has the potential for 1-3″ for rain with a direct hit, but probably not much more than that. It’s unlikely that amount of rain would lead to more than some poor-drainage flooding. The timing of any potential impact is during the day on Friday.
The overall outlook for mid-July is for warmer than normal weather in New England. While high temperatures may be near normal, I expect the low temperatures to be the bigger contributors to the warm stretch. It looks humid in mid-July (surprise) and that tends to keep the low temperatures at or above normal. Rain is likely to be above normal this week, and near normal next week.
All signs are that the tropics will be pretty quiet for 7-14 days after Elsa moves up the East Coast.