RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Elsa has gained strength as it moved across North Carolina Thursday with its wind speeds slowly increasing.

At 5 p.m., winds are sustained at 50 mph – an increase from 40 mph winds at 8 a.m. and 45 mph at 11 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center said 125 west-southwest of Norfolk, Virginia and 300 miles southwest of Atlantic City, New Jersey.

“Some strengthening is possible tonight and Friday while the system moves close to the northeastern United States. Elsa is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday night,” the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm will have exited North Carolina by the time NHC releases its 8 p.m. update.

“On the forecast track, Elsa will continue to move over North Carolina today, pass near the eastern
mid-Atlantic states by tonight, and move near or over the northeastern United States on Friday and Friday night. The system should move over Atlantic Canada by Friday night and Saturday,” NHC said.

Elsa is the fifth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, after AnaBillClaudette, and Danny.

Dr. Philip Klotzbach with Colorado State University said Elsa is the earliest fifth named storm on record. The previous record was set last year by Edouard, which formed July 6.

In North Carolina, Elsa’s main impacts will be rain and breezy conditions.