As of 7 p.m. Sunday, the National Hurricane Center has the center of Tropical Storm Eta back over the warm water of the Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. The storm is located 90 miles south of Miami.
A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for Southwest Florida. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from north of Bonita Beach to Englewood.
A Tropical Storm Warning means tropical-storm-force winds are expected somewhere within this area within the next 36 hours.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the coast of southern Florida from Deerfield Beach to Bonita Beach, and a Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Florida Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas, including Florida Bay.
A Hurricane Watch means hurricane-storm-force winds are possible somewhere within this area within the next 48 hours.
A Hurricane Warning means hurricane-storm-force winds are expected somewhere within the warning area.
The latest track brings Eta into the Florida Straits the rest of today where it’s expected to become a hurricane. By tonight, Eta will bend westward and cross near the Florida Keys, and to the south of Southwest Florida.
By Monday afternoon, Eta is forecast to be near the Dry Tortugas. After that, the forecast track is highly uncertain, with Eta expected to meander in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, with a slow northward drift through Friday.
In the meantime, with Eta expected to pass very close to SW Florida, direct impacts can be expected. The main threats are flooding rain and sporadic power outages, with the worst weather occurring Sunday night into Monday.
In terms of rainfall totals, we’re expecting widespread totals of 2-4 inches of rain across Southwest Florida, with isolated amounts as high as 5″ are possible. Localized street flooding is possible in low lying areas.
As far as wind is concerned, we’re calling for sustained winds of 30-40 MPH, gusting as high as 50 MPH. This can cause sporadic power outages, knock down trees & large branches, and blow around outdoor furniture and Christmas decorations. It wouldn’t be the worst idea to check your generator today.