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Photo: CIRA/RAAMB

Elsa strengthened into the first hurricane of the Atlantic season on Friday, threatening parts of the Caribbean as a Category 1 storm.

Why it matters: Elsa is the earliest fifth-named storm on record. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted an above-average storm season in the Atlantic this year.

The latest: A hurricane warning was issued for parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti early Friday afternoon, per the National Hurricane Center.

  • The storm had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph.
  • A tropical storm warning was in effect for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica, Jamaica and parts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
  • "Elsa is expected to produce rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches with maximum amounts of 15 inches today across the Windward and southern Leeward Islands, including Barbados," NOAA said Friday afternoon.
  • Outer rain bands from the storm will impact Puerto Rico late Friday into Saturday, NOAA said, adding that flooding and mudslides are possible.
  • NOAA added there is a "risk of storm surge, wind and rainfall impacts in the Florida Keys and portions of the Florida Peninsula early next week. However, the forecast uncertainty remains larger than usual."

Our thought bubble via Axios climate and energy reporter Andrew Freedman: Both the intensity and track forecast for Hurricane Elsa have a higher amount of uncertainty than we typically see at this time range.

  • How much the storm interacts with land, particularly the higher elevations of Hispaniola, may determine how strong the storm is if it directly affects Florida.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information.

Go deeper

Rare "high-risk" flash flood alert issued as Nicholas nears Louisiana

A street flooded after Tropical Storm Nicholas moved through Galveston, Texas, on Tuesday. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Southwest Louisiana faces a "high risk" of flash flooding from Tropical Depression Nicholas on Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service warned.

Why it matters: Such "high risk" outlooks are rarely issued anywhere in the U.S. There's also a medium risk of flash-flooding in New Orleans, which is still reeling from Hurricane Ida striking the state last month.

UN chief urges U.S. and China to fix "dysfunctional relationship"

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a Sept. 13 press conference in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / Coffini/AFP via Getty Images

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres raised concerns in an interview with AP, published Monday, of another Cold War between the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Guterres made the comments ahead of this week's UN General Assembly in New York. Guterres told AP the U.S.-U.K. deal to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia "is just one small piece of a more complex puzzle ... this completely dysfunctional relationship between China and the United States."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

FBI says human remains found in Wyoming likely Gabby Petito

Gabby Petito. Photo: FBI

Human remains found in Teton County, Wyoming, are "consistent with the description of" missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito, FBI Denver official Charles Jones said at a news conference Sunday.

Details: The cause of death had yet to be determined, but Jones said: "Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery." Authorities said they're continuing the search for her fiancé, Brian Laundrie.

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