According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Eta, the 28th named storm of this busy hurricane season, is expected to intensify, bringing strong winds, heavy rains and dangerous storm surges to Florida Keys and South Florida.
Eta devastated parts of Central America that began as a Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday, leaving more than 50 dead before it weakened into a tropical cyclone. The storm passed through the Cayman Islands and northwestern Bahamas on Saturday and landed on the south-central coast of Cuba early Sunday morning.
A National Hurricane Center recommendation issued Sunday morning predicted that as we approached the Florida Keys and South Florida, we would bring about tropical cyclone conditions, including heavy rains and dangerous floods.
According to the center, the storm could reach the strength of a hurricane by the time it hits Florida.
Hurricane watches were held on the Florida coast from Deerfield Beach to Bonita Beach and the Florida Keys from Ocean Reef to Drite Togas, including Florida Bay.
Tropical Cyclone Warnings have been issued in South Florida, from Brevard and Volcia county lines to Inglewood, which includes Florida Bay and Lake Okeechobee.
Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist and spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said the storm has spread since it hit Central America. Eta’s zigzag roads, steered by high-pressure and low-pressure systems, were not uncommon for late-season storms, he said.
Forecaster Predict 6-12 inch rain18-inch isolated instances are possible, in parts of southern and central Florida. Strong tropical cyclone winds were expected to arrive in Florida by Sunday night.
“The ground is already quite saturated, as it rained heavily on the site here in October,” Vertonghen said. “We are considering the potential for floods in many cities around here.”
On Sunday morning, the storm was 60 miles southwest of Camaguey, Cuba, and 280 miles southwest of Miami. According to the advisory, it was moving northeast at a wind speed of 60 mph and about 12 mph.
“We always say that there is no such thing as a tropical cyclone,” Vertonghen said. “A tropical cyclone can have a very serious impact. This is a very big and very serious rainfall event.”
Eta landed in Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane, devastating parts of Central America with winds up to 140 mph and heavy rainfall of up to 35 inches in some areas.
Guatemala President Alejandro Giammati said at a press conference Thursday that floods and landslides have killed at least 57 people in Guatemala. According to the Associated Press, a landslide filled 25 homes and dozens of homes trapped inside.
AP reported that two miners were killed in a landslide in Nicaragua. In Honduras, a 12-year-old girl caught in a landslide was killed.
According to Vertonghen, the storm was downgraded to a tropical cyclone as it passed through the mountains, but by Saturday it had regained a tropical cyclone.
In Eta, the extraordinarily busy 2020 season set the record for the most storms in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina, Rita and Wilma hit the Gulf Coast. That year, so many storms became strong enough to name, and meteorologists had to rely on Greek letters after running out of the list of rotating names maintained by the World Meteorological Organization. did.