SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -
Tropical Storm Eta has maintained its strength with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph with higher wind gusts. It continues moving northeast at 13 mph with a pressure of 991 mb.
There are Tropical Storm Warnings along with Hurricane Watches posted for portions of South Florida where hurricane conditions could be possible Sunday and early Monday morning. Charlotte County is now under a Tropical Storm Warning and Tropical Storm Watches have expanded across the entire Suncoast where tropical storm conditions are likely with the next 24-36 hours.
Eta is likely to maintain its intensity before landfall in Cuba, then weaken somewhat due to the rugged terrain there. The storm should re-intensify over the Florida Straits in moderate shear conditions but with favorable forcing from the upper-level low forming near western Cuba tomorrow, this will cause a sharper and faster left turn near the Florida Straits or Keys.
1. Heavy rainfall will continue across portions of Cuba and Jamaica, and will spread north into the Bahamas and southern Florida. This rain may result in significant, life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding in Cuba. Flash and urban flooding will also be possible for Jamaica, the Bahamas and southern Florida, along with potential minor to isolated moderate river flooding in Central Florida.
2. Tropical storm conditions are expected tonight and Sunday in portions of Cuba and the northwestern Bahamas, where Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect.
3. Damaging tropical-storm-force winds are expected to begin Sunday afternoon, with hurricane-force winds possible, in the Florida Keys and portions of the southern Florida peninsula, where a Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch are in effect. Elsewhere across portions of the east and west coasts of the Florida peninsula, the risk of tropical-storm-force winds will extend well away from Eta’s center, and Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings are in effect.
4. A dangerous storm surge is possible along portions of the southern coast of the Florida peninsula and the Florida Keys, where a Storm Surge Watch is in effect.