ORLANDO, Fla. — Tropical Storm Eta, the Atlantic hurricane season’s 28th-named storm, is moving closer to Florida as of Tuesday.
10:15 p.m. update:
Eta strengthening, moving closer to Florida
Eta is now moving north-northeast and is a bit stronger as of Tuesday night, Chief Meteorologist Tom Terry said.
The tropical storm is tracking over and north of Tampa by Thursday. Expect increasing rain and gusty impacts for central Florida on Thursday. New track and models show Eta making landfall as a 40-60 mph storm.
Tropical storm watches are in effect for the west coast.
4 p.m. update:
Eta starts to move; tropical watches in effect for parts of Florida.
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the west coast of Florida from Englewood northward to Suwannee River.
Tropical Storm Eta hs started to move north at about 7 mph, and it holds maximum sustained winds of 60mph. It is expected to have a slight shift to the north-northeast tonight as it moves parallel to the west coast of Florida, but remaining about 200 miles to the west of Tampa.
Eta could gain a bit of strength by Thursday morning, but gradually weakening is forecast after that.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from its center.
Western Cuba could receive up to 5 inches of rain. Portions of West Florida and the Sun Coast, including the Tampa Bay area, could get between 1 and 2 inches of rain with isolated totals of 4 inches.
The track shifted a bit more east, and if models verify Eta could be making landfall as a weak tropical storm near Carabelle in the Florida Panhandle.
There could still be some slight shifts in track, we will continue to monitor and bring you the latest on WFTV.com, Eyewitness News and on our Free WFTV Weather App.
1 p.m. update:
Eta continues stationary near Cuba
Not much changed at the 1 p.m. advisory released by the National Hurricane Center. Interests along the Gulf Coast of Florida should monitor the progress of Eta.
Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or two, followed by weakening likely starting on Thursday.
The west coast of Florida has a low chance of receiving tropical-storm-force winds this week as Eta is forecast to move north, but weakening before reaching the Panhandle.
10 a.m. update:
Eta meanders just off the coast of western Cuba and continues to bring a threat for flooding for South Florida as outer bands and lots of tropical moisture dominate the area.
Eta has become stationary about 60 miles from the western tip of Cuba. It has maximum sustained winds of 60mph.
The tropical storm is expected to stay stationary during much of the day on Tuesday, taking a north turn overnight into Wednesday.
Good news! Eta is still forecast to head north and become a remnant low before making landfall somewhere along Florida’s Panhandle.
For today across Central Florida, we can expect on and off downpours that will be moving fast. Breezy conditions will continue, winds out of the east with gusts that could reach 20 mph.
Central Florida’s weather will remain with intermittent rains and breezy through Thursday. By Friday, the chance for showers will be decreasing. The weekend looks to be sunny, but toasty.
ETA’S LATEST TRACK
9 a.m. update
7 a.m. update
Eta slightly strengthens, expected to stay over Gulf of Mexico for days
Eta slightly strengthened, with winds reaching 60 mph.
The National Weather Service said Eta has been drifting southward Tuesday morning. It is expected to become stationary late Tuesday.
Forecasters said Eta could strengthen during the next day or two. It will then likely begin to weaken starting Thursday.
4:30 a.m. update
Eta shifts away from Florida, expected to stay in Gulf for days
Tropical Storm Eta is lingering just north of the Yucatan Channel. There is still a risk of flooding over South Florida and western Cuba.
The storm is stationary and isn’t expected to move much Tuesday.
Eta has weakened, with winds at 50 mph. Forecasters said it could strengthen during the next day or two before it weakens on Thursday.
Meteorologist Brian Shields said Eta could continue to move north toward Alabama/Florida panhandle or eventually weaken.
Follow our Severe Weather team on Twitter for live updates:
- Chief meteorologist Tom Terry
- Brian Shields
- Irene Sans
- Kassandra Crimi
- George Waldenberger
- Rusty McCranie
Cox Media Group