Tracking Elsa: Tropical Storm Warning in NJ, Del., Flash Flood Threat in Philly Region

Tropical Storm Elsa and afternoon storms Thursday and Friday are expected to drop inches of rain on the Philadelphia region, prompting a First Alert for flooding

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What to Know

  • The New Jersey Shore and Delaware Beaches are under a tropical storm warning as Elsa races up the East Coast.
  • The storm could pack up to 40 to 50 mph wind gusts when it moves into the area Thursday night.
  • Along the coast the wind teams up with heavy rain into Friday morning. Inland, expect the big impact to be rain that could lead to localized flooding. A First Alert is in effect from 4 p.m. Thursday until 8 p.m. Friday.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story is no longer being updated. For the latest forecast and fallout from Elsa for the Philadelphia region and Jersey and Delaware shores, CLICK HERE.

Elsa is expected to storm into the Philadelphia region Thursday night, bringing a tropical storm force wind threat to the New Jersey and Delaware coasts. Heavy rainfall could lead to flooding and strong winds could potentially bring down tree limbs and blow around debris.

Ahead of Elsa arriving, you could see some scattered showers and thunderstorms during Thursday, with a chance for heavy downpours and strong winds in the afternoon. More stormy weather is expected to follow the fast-moving Elsa on Friday, leaving a flooding threat in place through the Friday evening commute.

"That soaking rain over such a large area will likely cause flash flooding over portions of the region," meteorologist Bill Henley said.

Map showing area for First Alert for flooding rain from Elsa, other storms
Flooding is a big concern Thursday and Friday due to Elsa and two chances for thunderstorms.

The NBC10 First Alert Weather Team has issued a First Alert for flash flooding throughout the Philadelphia region and strong winds along the coast from 4 p.m. Thursday to 8 p.m. Friday. One to 3 inches of rain is expected in Philadelphia and the suburbs, 2 to 4 inches in Delaware and South Jersey and up to 6 inches could fall in isolated neighborhoods.

Tropical Storm Elsa Brings Storm Warnings to NJ, Delaware

The National Weather Service has issued a tropical storm warning for southern Delaware and the entire Jersey Shore. The storm is forecast to pass over southern Delaware late Thursday evening.

Click here to see the latest weather alerts in your area.

The alert says that the winds from Elsa in Atlantic, Cape May, Rehoboth Beach and neighboring communities are expected to be up to 40 to 45 mph -- 39 mph is the minimum for tropical storm winds -- with gusts nearing 50 mph. The storm could bring 6 to 9 foot waves at the beaches.

"Very strong winds will cause hazardous seas, which could capsize or damage vessels and reduce visibility," the weather service said in its alert.

An isolated tornado can't be ruled out as the storm moves through.

As of Thursday morning, all was calm along the Jersey coast, giving people time to prepare for the storm and take lose items in from outdoors.

Elsa is leaving a path of flooding and destruction as it moves up the East Coast. NBC10's Randy Gyllenhaal reports from Sea Isle City with the calm before the storm.

As of Thursday morning, Tropical Storm Elsa was striking the Carolinas, having weakened to 40 mph winds. The storm left at least one dead in Florida and 10 hurt in Georgia.

The storm was expected to move up the East Coast over the next 24 hours, bringing rain and wind to the Philadelphia region Thursday night into Friday morning. The heaviest of the rain and the strongest winds are expected during the overnight hours. Elsa should move out of the area later on Friday morning.

Elsa, Other Storms Bring Flooding Threat

The greatest impact from Philadelphia and points north and west is expected to be heavy rainfall that could lead to localized flash flooding.

Even though Elsa will mostly race through as people sleep, drivers need to be aware of potentially flooded roads during the Friday morning commute. Remember to "turn around, don't drown," if you come across flooded roadways. Also, watch out for downed tree limbs.

Humidity sticks around even after Elsa moves out, leading to more storms later on Friday. All that rain keeps the flooding threat in effect into the evening.

Keep checking back with the NBC10 First Alert Weather Team on air and always on the app for Elsa's latest track and what it could mean for our region. The next major National Hurricane Center update comes at 11 a.m.

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