SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Hurricane ETA rapidly intensifies from a tropical storm to a major category 4 hurricane in less than 24 hours in the western Caribbean. This extreme hurricane has top winds now at 130 mph with gusts up to 160 mph. This is going to be catastrophic storm causing life threatening mud slides with rainfall amounts up to 25 inches.
ETA is set to slam the Nicaragua in the early morning hours on Tuesday as a major storm and has a chance to gain further strength as it moves over very warm water prior to landfall. Once it moves inland it will weaken but still pack quite a punch with a tremendous amount of rain in the mountainous terrain of Central America.
If it survives over the high elevation it has a chance to emerge back into the W. Caribbean where it could reorganize and become a hurricane once again. The water temperatures are extremely warm over the western Caribbean thus the forecast models are suggesting ETA will drift around south of Cuba through the weekend.
The two most reliable long range forecast models continue to show this storm staying in the Caribbean and then making a break to the north. It is still too early to say whether we will see an impact from this storm but must be monitored closely through late next week. The positive thing for us is that the Gulf of Mexico has cooled due to the recent cold fronts and would not be an extreme hurricane if it were to move into the Gulf next week.
Right now it is a waiting game for Florida nothing to worry about right now. Stay tuned to ABC7 and download the ABC7 First Alert Weather app to keep up with changing forecasts with ETA through next week.
Cooler weather has moved into the area due to a cold front which will bring temperatures down into the upper 50′s to low 60′s on Tuesday for lows and then with plenty of sunshine we warm to around 77 degrees in the afternoon.
Winds will still be up so expect a breezy and comfortable day on Tuesday. Wednesday morning will be cool once again with lows in the low 60s. We will warm under mostly sunny skies into the low 80′s with no mention of rain.
Thursday we stay sunny but it gets warmer with temperatures going back above the average high of 83 degrees. The humidity will also be on the rise through the latter half of the work week as well.
By Friday look for a high in the mid 80′s with a feels like in the low to mid 90′s. There is a slight chance for late day showers through the weekend at 30% for rain.
Expect partly cloudy skies over the weekend with highs in the mid 80′s with lows in the low 70′s.
For boaters expect windy conditions through the morning with the winds subsiding in the afternoon. We start out with NE winds 20 knots and drop down to 10-5 knots in the mid afternoon. Seas will be 2-4 feet with a moderate chop on the waters. There is a small craft advisory through mid morning.