First hurricane of the season forms
Elsa, the first hurricane of the season, has formed in the Atlantic with its forecast path set to take it through the Caribbean this weekend, potentially looming over Florida by Tuesday.
At 6am, Elsa was 131 miles to the east of the Dominican Republic and headed westnorthwest at 31mph, and predicted to curve northwest by Sunday.
The Dominican Republic and Haiti announced hurricane watches for today, with Jamaica battening down for tomorrow.
The Category 1 storm packed maximum winds of 85mph, according to the US National Hurricane Centre.
This year meteorologists predicted an above average season, with the NHC estimating between 13 and 20 named storms.
Between six and ten are expected to reach hurricane force and three to five of them could become major hurricanes with winds of 111mph or higher.
The modern average for hurricane seasons is 14 named storms, with seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.