Tropical storm Elsa has regained its status as a hurricane as it heads toward Florida, the National Hurricane Center said tuesday evening.
Elsa was upgraded with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, the center said. It was about 100 miles southwest of Tampa, Fla., according to the 8 p.m. advisory.
The hurricane is projected to make landfall along the north Florida Gulf coast by late Wednesday morning, and make its way across the southeastern United States on Thursday.
Elsa strengthened to a Category 1 Hurricane as it moved toward the Caribbean last friday, with meteorologists projecting it would be the first hurricane of the Atlantic season. It was downgraded to a tropical storm on saturday as it moved through the Caribbean.
Florida Governor predicted that the storm could strengthen to a hurricane by the time it hit the state’s Big Bend region Wednesday morning.
He said over 20 counties are under tropical storm warnings, 33 are under a state of emergency and 12 are facing storm surge warnings.