SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Eta is pounding NE Nicuragua and SE Honduras with torrential rain potentially totaling up to 25 inches causing life threatening landslides and flash flooding through Wednesday.
The major 4 hurricane with winds of 140 mph made landfall just south of Puerta Cabazas Nicaragua just before 5 p.m. Tuesday evening. The catastrophic storm surge was projected to be 20+ feet.
It will continue to move into the mountains on Tuesday squeezing the moisture out of it and breaking up its circulation.
Some of that circulation looks to survive and get pushed back out into the NW Caribbean by Friday. If it makes it, there is a good chance it will restrengthen to a tropical storm by Saturday and then move somewhere through west central Cuba and on toward S. Florida on Sunday.
It would not be a very intense storm as it has many obstacles to deal with between now and then. The water temperatures are warm enough for it gain strength but the shear due to an area of low pressure in the Gulf and the mountains of Cuba should keep it from becoming a hurricane.
At least that is what it looks like right now, but things could change depending up where it crosses Cuba and how strong the upper level low is in the Gulf.
The cone of uncertainty covers all of S. Florida at the time of this writing and may be extended northward into our area in future forecasts. If it were to have an impact on our communities the timing of it would be a late Sunday or possibly early Tuesday morning window.
If it were to hit we would see mainly a rain storm at this time with windy conditions beginning Sunday through Tuesday. Some models suggest it will hang off the west coast of Florida for a day or so and then get picked up by a cold front moving through the SE U.S. and carried off into the Atlantic.
So right now you should be paying close attention to the forecasts and monitor any updates on you ABC7 First Alert Weather app over the next 4 days. No action should be taken at this time.
We can expect to see another beautiful day on Wednesday with temperatures in the low 60′s to start the day followed by highs in the low 80′s in the afternoon. It will stay breezy with winds out of the NE at 10-15 mph and no chance for rain along with plenty of sunshine.
Thursday look for warmer weather to move in along with slightly higher humidity. We will have partly cloudy skies with a high around 85 degrees and little chance for rain. It will start to feel warm and muggy once again.
Friday expect partly cloudy skies with a 30% chance for scattered showers mainly in the afternoon. The high on Friday will be around 86 degrees with a feels like in the mid 90′s.
The weekend weather gets a bit tricky due to the future path and intensity of what Eta does. Right now I am calling for increasing clouds throughout the day with a 40% chance for showers and isolated thunderstorms. It will be breezy as well as Eta starts to reorganize.
Sunday we will see mostly cloudy skies along with a 40% chance for rain. It will be windy with winds out of the ENE at 15-25 mph.
Monday if Eta chooses to stick around in the E. Gulf we can expect more clouds with elevated rain chances and windy conditions continuing.
For boaters expect winds out of the NE at 10-15 knots and seas 2-3 feet. There will be a light to moderate chop on the waters.