Friday, 22 January, 2021


Eta tracks toward Florida Keys after lashing Cuba

Where is Tropical Storm Eta headed? The latest from the National Hurricane Center | Biloxi Sun Herald Hurricane, Storm Surge Watches Issued for Florida Keys
Kristine Garrett | 09 November, 2020, 11:09

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The U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Department of Transportation will begin to lock down drawbridges in Broward and Palm Beach counties by 6 a.m. Sunday morning, so boat owners were urged to move vessels inland immediately.

Eta landed on the coast of Nicaragua Tuesday as a Category 4 hurricane.

On the forecast track, the center of Eta will be crossing over central Cuba Saturday night and Sunday, and near the Florida Keys or South Florida Sunday night and Monday.

It passed through Cuba before making landfall in Florida.

Eta is a little late by hurricane season standards. Should Eta strike as a hurricane, it would be just the fourth US hurricane landfall in November since 1851, WeatherTiger reports.

The Florida Keys and peninsula have mostly been spared the brunt of damage from the record-setting, 2020 Atlantic hurricane season that has spawned 28 named systems. Incredibly, no landfalls have occurred in the state yet this season.

"Eta may make a second pass across the state", WeatherTiger's Ryan Truchelut warned. "Big picture: Both the Panhandle and the Florida Gulf Coast should be poised to react to a hurricane threat this week".

The Hurricane Watch is in effect for coastal areas from Deerfield Beach to Bonita Beach, and for the Florida Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas, including Florida Bay and Biscayne Bay. In addition to rain - with some isolated areas possibly seeing 18 inches - Eta could bring with it storm surges of up to four feet. Eta's path later this week and beyond was uncertain.

It likely won't form until at least five days, the Hurricane Center said. There could be flooding and storm surge in some areas.

In southern Mexico, across the border from Guatemala, 19 people died as heavy rains attributed to Eta caused mudslides and swelled streams and rivers, according to Chiapas state civil defense official Elías Morales Rodríguez.

Some area schools have announced that they will be closed Monday due to Tropical Storm Eta. The storm was pushing northwest at 14 miles per hour. A storm surge watch is in effect for the coast of Collier County.

But regardless of when exactly Eta becomes a hurricane, forecasters expect heavy rainfall to continue to drench portions of Cuba, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and as far north as central Florida.

Winds will frequently gust up to and over 60 miles per hour. In Guatemala, searchers were still looking for more than 100 missing in a landslide, one of many fueled by rain from Eta, in San Cristobal Verapaz.

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