SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - 1 PM Update: Here are the new developments in the lastest track for Tropical Storm Eta: The storm will spend more time moving west and southwest Monday and Tuesday. This delays any potential significant impact on the Suncoast to Thursday night and Friday. The official track has Eta moving more to the northeast, toward the Suncoast, on Friday. But there is still a huge “cone of uncertainty”, which means the official track could change drastically by the time we get to Friday.
Tropical Storm Eta is now moving north of Cuba today with winds back to 65 mph and heavy rain. By Sunday evening Eta moves across the Florida Keys with heavy rain and winds near 70 mph. Then Eta takes a turn to the west into the Gulf of Mexico for Monday and Tuesday, and the latest track takes Eta to a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds Monday. We will have gusty winds through Sunday afternoon and into Monday. With a slower track, potential rainfall totals through Thursday are lower across the Suncoast, too. Some localized heavy downpours with still be possible. The latest computer models indicate storm rain totals by Thursday afternoon only near 1 inch in most Suncoast locations. If the path of the storm changes these projections could vary significantly.
Tropical Storm Watches are in effect for most of the Suncoast now. Watches mean there is potential for tropical storm conditions, depending on the exact track of the storm. Tropical Storm warnings are in effect to the south for Charlotte Conty, and for southern Florida, as the storm will be near hurricane strength there Sunday evening. We will continue to monitor the storm very closely as it develops and moves closer to Florida today!