Tropical Storm Eta officially made landfall at 4am Thursday morning near Cedar Key, Florida. The center of Eta officially exited the state near Jacksonville by early afternoon.

Dry air in the upper atmosphere and strong wind shear caused the storm to weaken before it made landfall on the Nature Coast. Occasional downpours and wind gusts to around 40 mph are still possible along the I-4 corridor through early Thursday evening due to a trailing trough of low pressure left by the storm. Since most of the rain and strong winds were ahead of the storm, conditions have been improving rapidly behind the storm from west to east across the peninsula.

NO CURRENT STORMS IN ATLANTIC BASIN

Widespread wind gusts between 50 and 60 mph were observed from Sarasota and Manatee counties northward into the Tampa/St. Pete metropolitan areas Wednesday afternoon and evening. Wind gusts as high as 66 mph were reported near Beverly Hills in Citrus county from a private weather station. Gusts to near 50 mph were reported in Cedar Key and tropical storm force gusts in excess of 40 mph were recorded officially in Gainesville before sunrise Thursday. Tropical storm force gusts extended south into the Fort Myers area Wednesday afternoon when Eta was at its closest approach to Southwest Florida.

Official observing sites and radar estimations suggest more than a foot of rain fell in portions of Miami-Dade and Broward counties over the past five days, with much of that occurring Sunday and Monday. Numerous reports of flash flooding were received by local officials in and around the communities of Miami Lakes, Pembroke Pines, Davie and Fort Lauderdale. Flash flooding from an estimated 4 to 8 inches of rain also occurred southeast of Eta's second landfall in west-central Florida Wednesday and Wednesday night.

The National Weather Service passed along reports of storm surge flooding in Sarasota county near Longboat Key, which required the evacuation of some 50 to 100 people there. Additional surge flooding was reported between several inches deep and waist-deep in Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco counties based on National Weather Service reports. Many of these reports occurred within a few hours of midnight, when high tide was expected along the west coast.

Drier conditions are anticipated across most of the state on Friday, except for a few remaining downpours across parts of water-logged South Florida.

Elsewhere in the tropics, a new tropical storm is likely to form in the eastern Caribbean within the next day or two. If it does, it would be the 30th tropical cyclone of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which adds to the record that was previously broken with Subtropical Storm Theta in the north-east Atlantic. The previous record of 28 storms was set in 2005.

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NHC: Low chance of tropical development in next five days.

Expires at 6:00pm on Friday November 13th, 2020

Tropical Storm Eta's next move is becoming a bit clearer, and the forecast track has again shifted. The shift is to the east this time, which puts more of Florida's Gulf Coast at risk for impacts.

The Tropical Storm Watch issued Tuesday afternoon for the greater Tampa metro area and portions of the Nature Coast was upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning just six hours later. It was also extended farther south to Bonita Beach and now includes Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Port Charlotte. A Tropical Storm Watch was issued along Florida's Big Bend from north of the Suwannee River to the Aucilla River, and a Storm Surge Watch was issued for coastal residents from the Steinhatchee River also to Bonita Beach, including Charlotte Harbor and Tampa Bay.

Tropical storm force winds of 40 to 60 mph are now likely in the warned area from Fort Myers to Tampa as early as Wednesday night, spreading north along the Nature Coast and portions of North-Central Florida during the day Thursday. Gusts nearing hurricane force are also possible in these areas along the coast, which will likely coincide with the stronger rain bands as they rotate inland.

The National Hurricane Center says a life-threatening storm surge of 2 to 4 feet is possible from the Nature Coast to just north of Naples, including Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor. Residents in these areas are encouraged to listen to local authorities for possible evacuation orders Wednesday. An inundation of 1 to 2 feet above dry ground is possible farther south from Bonita Beach to Florida Bay.

NO CURRENT STORMS IN ATLANTIC BASIN

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said the most recent shift in the forecast guidance was a bit of a "surprise", and likely a result of additional hurricane hunter data recently ingested into the models. Atmospheric conditions are still expected to be hostile to the storm as it moves north over the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and the official forecast continues to call for gradual weakening after Wednesday. However, the rate of weakening and speed of the storm are still very much in question due to large spreads in how the models handle several external factors that will likely play a role in Eta's fate.

Regardless of how strong Tropical Storm Eta still is when it moves into the northeastern Gulf later this week, heavy rain, flash flooding and isolated tornadoes are possible in the same areas under the Tropical Storm Warning Thursday and Friday. A few outer rain bands not directly associated with Eta are likely to continue producing locally heavy rain occasionally in South and Central Florida as well through at least Wednesday. The National Weather Service continued Flood Watches into Wednesday evening for Southeast Florida because of the possibility of additional heavy rain on top of already saturated ground.

A high risk of rip currents will continue for several more days in Collier county on the west coast and along the Gold coast of Southeast Florida. High Surf Advisories were issued from the Treasure and Space Coasts northward to the First Coast, and rip currents are also anticipated in these areas through Thursday.

Eta is increasingly likely to encounter higher wind shear and dry air starting Thursday, which would cause the storm to weaken as it moves north toward Apalachee Bay. However, forecasters noted in their advisory late Tuesday evening that the center of Tropical Storm Eta might reform to the east of its current location. If it does, there remains the possibility that Eta would briefly regain hurricane strength and make landfall somewhere along the Nature Coast or just north of Tampa Bay.

Elsewhere in the tropics, Subtropical Storm Theta formed in the open waters of the central Atlantic Ocean Monday evening. It's the season's 29th named storm -- a new all-time record for the number of named storms in the Atlantic Basin in one season. Theta is not forecast to affect land areas at this time. Yet another tropical wave in the central Caribbean has a high chance of becoming the season's next tropical depression later this week or weekend when it reaches the western Caribbean. It is far too soon to say whether it will ever impact the U.S. coastline.

Expires at 6:00pm on Wednesday November 11th, 2020

Tropical Storm Eta restrengthened overnight, but has come to a near halt in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The storm is likely to remain over water for several more days before weakening, and chances are decreasing that it will become a significant tropical threat to Florida.

The tropical storm was responsible for numerous reports of flooding in South Florida Sunday through Monday morning. 6 to 12 inches of rain occurred in many parts of metropolitan Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Nearly 18 inches of rain fell near Miramar in Broward county according to a report passed along by the National Weather Service in Miami Monday afternoon.

A few wind gusts in excess of 60 mph were reported both in Miami-Dade and Broward, with widespread gusts greater than tropical storm force north into Palm Beach county. Tropical storm gusts were also reported on the west coast of Florida also: a 54 mph wind gust was recorded officially in Naples early Monday morning and gusts to tropical storm force extended as far north as Citrus county on the Nature coast.

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As of mid-morning Tuesday, the Eta had nearly stalled about 60 miles from the western tip of Cuba with top sustained winds of 60 mph. The storm is expected to move little on Tuesday, but is likely to drift toward the north Wednesday and could strengthen to near hurricane status once again. A few outer rain bands not directly associated with Eta are likely to continue producing locally heavy rain occasionally in South and Central Florida through Wednesday. The National Weather Service continued Flood Watches into Wednesday evening for Southeast Florida because of the possibility of additional heavy rain on top of already saturated ground.

A high risk of rip currents will continue for several more days in Collier county on the west coast and along the Gold coast of Southeast Florida. High Surf Advisories were issued from the Treasure and Space Coasts northward to the First Coast, and rip currents are also anticipated in these areas through Thursday.

Eta is increasingly likely to encounter higher wind shear and dry air starting Thursday, which would cause the storm to weaken over the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters at the Hurricane Center said confidence in the forecast is still not high and that residents along the Gulf coast should monitor Eta's progress in the coming days. If Eta does not weaken as forecast, it could impact the Gulf coast anywhere from the Florida Panhandle to Louisiana this weekend.

Subtropical Storm Theta formed in the open waters of the central Atlantic Ocean Monday evening. It's the season's 29th named storm -- a new all-time record for the number of named storms in the Atlantic Basin in one season. Theta is not forecast to affect land areas at this time. Yet another tropical wave in the central Caribbean has a high chance of becoming the season's next tropical depression later this week or weekend when it reaches the western Caribbean. It is far too soon to say whether it will ever impact the U.S. coastline.

NO CURRENT STORMS IN ATLANTIC BASIN

Expires at 11:00am on Wednesday November 11th, 2020

Tropical Storm Eta has moved into the Gulf of Mexico, where competing atmospheric factors are leading to low confidence on its next move. As such, a credible forecast on when, where, and even if a second landfall will occur in Florida cannot be made at this time.

The season's 29th tropical storm became the 12th storm to make a U.S. landfall as it crossed the Upper Florida Keys late Sunday evening. As of Monday morning, Tropical Storm Eta was marching west-southwest into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico and had maximum sustained winds up to 65 mph. Model simulations are in relatively good agreement that this motion will continue with Eta over the next 24 hours, sending it a few hundred miles offshore from Southwest Florida by late Tuesday. What Eta does next is highly uncertain.

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In their early Monday morning update, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said there will likely be "large changes" to the long range forecast track of Eta. The storm is sandwiched between two ridges over the western Gulf of Mexico and east of Florida, which is likely to cause Eta to slow down considerably by midweek. A trough of low pressure in the southwestern United States is forecast to erode the ridge in the western Gulf enough to cause Eta to move slowly north Wednesday into Thursday. However, computer models do not agree whether the trough will extend far enough south to completely pick up Eta. Another trough off the Pacific Northwest coast is expected to move into the central U.S. on Friday. It is also unclear whether this second trough will extend far enough south to steer the tropical storm. Small changes in any of these potential steering mechanisms will have a large impact on the eventual track of Eta.

Regardless of what happens with Tropical Storm Eta in the coming days, the short-term flood risk continues in parts of South Florida. Official observing sites and radar estimations suggest more than a foot of rain has fallen in portions of Miami-Dade and Broward counties over the past two days. Numerous reports of flash flooding had been received by local officials in and around the communities of Miami Lakes, Pembroke Pines, Davie and Fort Lauderdale.

Outer rain bands from Tropical Storm Eta are still likely to affect the warned areas through Monday afternoon, although the steadier and heavier rain from Eta is forecast to shift into Southwest Florida. An isolated tornado or water spout also remains possible through Monday evening where stronger cells may induce low-level spin. Periodic downpours are expected farther north as well, across much of central Florida through the day Tuesday, thanks in large part to the broad counter-clockwise circulation around Eta pulling in moisture from the Atlantic.

Saltwater flooding from high seas and rough surf is also likely to continue in the Florida Keys, along the shores of the Florida Bay and Biscayne Bay through early Tuesday, especially at times of high tide. Minor coastal flooding will also continue to be possible up and down the Atlantic Coast from the persistent onshore flow through at least Tuesday. Elsewhere across Florida, relatively quiet weather should ensue through midweek while Tropical Storm Eta remains well offshore.

With the forecast track of Tropical Storm Eta highly uncertain, it is still too soon to project potential impacts to locations farther north, such as along the Nature Coast or in Florida's Big Bend. However, residents in these areas are encouraged to stay vigilant and be prepared to act quickly since there might be little notice of potential impacts from Eta given it's close proximity to land later this week.

Expires at 11:00am on Tuesday November 10th, 2020

Days of occasional heavy rainfall may increase the risk of flooding over saturated South Florida late this upcoming weekend into early next week ahead of what is likely to be Tropical Storm Eta in the Caribbean. Tropical storm conditions are also possible along both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts as forecast trends bring the center of storm closer to the peninsula.

Eta weakened to a depression over Central America, but has since moved back over the warm water of the northwest Caribbean Sea. Atmospheric conditions make re-strengthening into a tropical storm a good possibility later Friday or Saturday.

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The latest Hurricane Center forecast track takes the center of the Eta near or over Cuba on Sunday, but heavy rain is expected to arrive well in advance of Eta. Persistent easterly winds will likely causing showers to affect South Florida Friday and the rain is forecast to increase in areal coverage and intensity as the influence from Eta increases, especially Saturday evening into Sunday.

The forecast path of Eta is more uncertain than usual which will alter rainfall amounts, but 6 to 10 inches of rain is possible in Southeast Florida starting Friday and lasting through the middle of next week. Rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches are possible as far north as the Space and Treasure coasts and extending westward through the Florida Heartland into Southwest Florida. Over the past 30 days, data from rain gauges and radar indicate parts of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties have experienced 200 to 300 percent of their average rainfall. Meanwhile, the Treasure Coast has had about 150 percent of its average during that time. Flooding is possible anywhere over South Florida, but these areas are particularly vulnerable because of the wet conditions so far this fall season.

Eta's effects are likely to last well into next week. The forecast cone brings the center of the storm into the Gulf of Mexico or near southwest Florida on Monday and Tuesday. Regardless of the exact track, periods of heavy rain and flash flooding are a possibility over much of the state, but it is difficult to say exactly where conditions may be the worst. Forecasters encourage everyone in Florida to continue to carefully monitor the forecast for changes because of the low predictability of Eta and its potential impacts across different parts of the state.

Expires at 11:00am on Saturday November 7th, 2020

Days of heavy rainfall may increase the risk of flooding over saturated South Florida this weekend, ahead of what is likely to be the approach of Tropical Storm Eta from the Caribbean.

NO CURRENT STORMS IN ATLANTIC BASIN

Eta made landfall as a powerful category 4 hurricane Tuesday in Nicaragua, but weakened to a tropical depression Wednesday night over Central America. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said it's possible there is no longer a low-level circulation because of its continued interaction with higher terrain. Its remnant circulation is forecast to move back over warm waters of the northwest Caribbean Sea on Friday, where atmospheric conditions make restrengthening into a tropical storm a possibility.

The latest Hurricane Center forecast track takes the center of the Eta near or over Cuba on Sunday, but heavy rain is expected to arrive well in advance of Eta. Persistent easterly winds were already causing showers to affect South Florida Thursday and the rain is forecast to increase in areal coverage and intensity as the influence from Eta increases over the weekend.

The forecast path of Eta is more uncertain than usual which will alter rainfall amounts, but around a foot of rain is possible in Southeast Florida starting Friday and lasting through the mid next week. Rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches are possible as far north as the Space and Treasure coasts and extending westward through the Florida Heartland into Southwest Florida. Over the past 30 days, data from rain gauges and radar indicate parts of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties have experienced 200 to 300 percent of their average rainfall. Meanwhile, the Treasure Coast has had about 150 percentage of its average during that time. Flooding is possible anywhere over South Florida, but these areas are particularly vulnerable because of the wet conditions so far this fall season.

Eta's effects are likely to last well into next week. The forecast cone has the center of Eta anywhere between the northwest Bahamas and the southeast Gulf of Mexico. A few computer model simulations are suggesting a broader range of possibilities, including a turn back toward the central Gulf. Forecasters encourage everyone in Florida to continue to carefully monitor the forecast for changes because of the low predictability of Eta and its potential impacts across different parts of the state.

Expires at 6:00pm on Friday November 6th, 2020

Powerful Hurricane Eta is expected to make landfall Tuesday afternoon in Nicaragua, and chances are increasing that it will re-emerge in the northwestern Caribbean this weekend.

NO CURRENT STORMS IN ATLANTIC BASIN

The potentially catastrophic storm is forecast to dump more than 2 feet of rainfall in parts of Nicaragua and Honduras and produce a storm surge up to around 20 feet near the landfall location. The rugged terrain of the region increases the chance of hazardous mudslides.

Eta should weaken rapidly over Central America after it makes landfall. However, a strong majority of reliable model simulations forecast its remnant to move back over the warm water of the northwest Caribbean Sea Friday into the weekend. The official National Hurricane Center forecast brings Eta back to tropical storm status by Sunday morning. Based on the forecast cone issued late Tuesday morning, Eta could be as far north as western or central Cuba late this weekend.

There is considerable uncertainty in the track and intensity of the storm next week, assuming it regenerates in the Caribbean. Interests in Florida and the Bahamas are encouraged to occasionally monitor the progress of Eta heading into the weekend.

The category 4 storm is only the fifth on record in the Atlantic Basin in the month of November; two others have had greater maximum sustained winds during the month. Records in the Atlantic Basin go back to 1851.

Expires at 11:00am on Wednesday November 4th, 2020

Zeta regained hurricane strength early Wednesday morning over the warm waters of the central Gulf of Mexico. It is forecast to strengthen more and may attain category 2 status prior to landfall along the Louisiana Gulf coast late Wednesday afternoon.

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Tropical storm force winds are expected to arrive along the Gulf coast from Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle between mid-afternoon and sunset Wednesday, before subsiding in the hours prior to dawn on Thursday. Hurricane force winds are most likely in the hurricane warning area over Louisiana and Mississippi early Wednesday evening.

The rain and wind tied to Zeta is forecast to arrive in Northwest Florida between 2 and 5 PM, with the worst of the weather between 8 PM Wednesday and 3 AM Thursday.

During this time, frequent tropical storm force wind gusts and occasional tropical storm force sustained winds are likely from Pensacola to Destin and Fort Walton Beach. A cold front following Zeta may bring a separate round of scattered thunderstorms over the Florida Big Bend region, including Tallahassee, Perry, and Lake City during the daylight hours of Thursday. Strong winds throughout the atmosphere and daytime heating may result in a couple of strong storms with a brief, isolated tornado threat. The scattered showers and storms are expected to weaken shortly after sunset Thursday as they approach Northeast and North-Central Florida, including Jacksonville and Gainesville.

Strong onshore winds are expected to pile water on to the coast. Storm Surge Warnings continued from the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana to Navarre, Florida. 6 to 9 feet of water above normally dry ground is possible along the Mississippi and Alabama coastlines, which are particularly storm surge zone. Water levels as high as 2 to 4 feet are possible into the western Florida Panhandle, especially near the time of high tide within a few hours of midnight. Minor water level rises are anticipated as far east as the Forgotten coast, where Coastal Flood Advisories have been posted.

The storm’s fast forward motion is expected to spread tropical storm force wind gusts well inland over Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia early Thursday morning. These winds are capable of producing power disruptions to areas far away from the coast. Pockets of flash flooding are possible, but the quick movement of the storm should limit total rainfall amounts to around 1 inch in the western Florida Panhandle to as high as 2 to 4 inches in a swath from southeast Louisiana to Mississippi, Alabama, north Georgia, and the Upstate of South Carolina.

Expires at 12:00am on Thursday October 29th, 2020

Zeta is on course to be the season’s eighth landfalling tropical storm or hurricane this season along the U.S. Gulf coast Wednesday. It made landfall as a category 1 hurricane late Monday evening on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and is emerging in the southern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday morning as a tropical storm.

NO CURRENT STORMS IN ATLANTIC BASIN

The warm waters of the southern Gulf and weak upper-level winds favor the storm regaining hurricane intensity later Tuesday. A ridge of high pressure over Florida has been steering Zeta toward the northwest, but an approaching trough over the western U.S. is forecast to weaken the ridge and cause the storm to turn toward the north and northeast Wednesday. The center of Zeta is likely to make landfall in southeast Louisiana Wednesday afternoon or evening and then move over Mississippi and Alabama Wednesday night before it reaches the Carolinas on Thursday.

Hurricane Warnings were posted for the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf coasts, where hurricane conditions are more likely. Tropical Storm Warnings continue for the Alabama Gulf coast to Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties in the western Florida Panhandle. Tropical storm force winds are likely to arrive in these areas shortly after sunset Wednesday and depart Thursday morning because of Zeta’s fast movement.

2 to 4 feet of water above normally dry ground is possible from the western Florida Panhandle to Louisiana, with a few places in Louisiana and Mississippi potentially receiving surge of 4 to 6 feet, has prompted Storm Surge Warnings in these areas. Smaller water level rises of 1 to 3 feet above normally dry ground are forecast along the Forgotten and Big Bend coasts, which may cause areas of minor coastal flooding.

Areas of inland freshwater flooding are possible, but flooding is not likely to be as substantial as what occurred with a much slower-moving Hurricane Sally in mid-September. Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches, with locally higher amounts of up to 6 inches, may cause urban, small stream, and minor flooding. The highest rainfall totals are likely in a swath from southeast Louisiana through southern Mississippi, Alabama, the far western Florida Panhandle, north Georgia, and the Upstate of South Carolina into the mountains of North Carolina.

NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center says a few tornadoes are possible starting late Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday night over the western Panhandle in some of the outer rainbands attached to Zeta. This tornado risk could spread into parts of the Florida Big Bend, Georgia, the Upstate of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia during the daylight hours of Thursday.

Weather conditions are likely to improve as soon as early Thursday morning over the western Florida Panhandle, but squally conditions are possible into the Florida Big Bend and the Carolinas on Thursday. The remnant of Zeta is forecast to move into the Atlantic waters Thursday night.

Expires at 11:00am on Wednesday October 28th, 2020

Zeta rapidly strengthened overnight on its approach to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It is expected to be the season’s eighth landfalling tropical storm or hurricane on the U.S. Gulf coast this week.

NO CURRENT STORMS IN ATLANTIC BASIN

The National Hurricane Center said Zeta had top sustained winds of 70 mph as of its mid-morning advisory on Monday. It is moving toward the northwest near 9 mph. Hurricane Warnings are in effect for Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where Zeta is expected to make its first landfall late Monday evening. 4 to 8 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts, and 1 to 3 feet of storm surge are expected near and to the north of where the center makes landfall on the Yucatan, the Hurricane Center said.

Zeta is expected to emerge in the southern Gulf of Mexico some time Tuesday morning, where it should regain any strength that it loses over its brief path over the Yucatan. Water temperatures and light to moderate wind shear are forecast in the southern Gulf and should be favorable for maintaining a hurricane through at least Tuesday. Several cold fronts have already penetrated the shelf waters of the northern Gulf this fall season, so water temperatures are a bit cooler closer to the coast. Increasing wind shear and somewhat cooler water may lead to some weakening as Zeta approaches the northern Gulf coast later Wednesday; however, the storm is most likely to be a strong tropical storm or category 1 hurricane at landfall.

Computer model simulations are in somewhat better agreement Monday than they were over the weekend regarding Zeta’s future path. A strong ridge of high pressure over Florida will guide Zeta northward through the Gulf before the approach of an upper trough from the mid-latitudes erodes the ridge and causes Zeta to curve more toward the northeast. Nearly all reliable models predict landfall between Louisiana and the far western edge of the Florida Panhandle some time on Wednesday. The greatest risk of storm surge, localized flooding, and tropical storm force winds are in those areas, with the first arrival of sustained tropical storm winds most likely Wednesday afternoon or evening. Isolated tornadoes are possible, especially Wednesday evening into Thursday morning into the Florida Panhandle.

Conditions are likely to improve somewhat along the Gulf coast on Thursday as the storm moves inland. However, heavy rain, isolated tornadoes, and flooding may accompany a weakening Zeta during the day on Thursday in the Carolinas. Residents there are also encouraged to monitor forecasts later this week as the storm’s path and affects become more certain.

After Zeta moves into the Atlantic on Friday, there are some signals for another tropical system in the western Caribbean during the first week of November. It is far too soon to predict what effects, if any, that potential system would have on the U.S.

Expires at 11:00am on Tuesday October 27th, 2020

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