Tropical Storm ETA (Text)

Tropical Storm Eta Discussion Number  32
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL292020
400 AM EST Sun Nov 08 2020
Although Eta has a ragged and asymmetric appearance in satellite
and radar images, the cloud tops are quite cold with a lot of
embedded lightning strikes being detected in the northeastern
quadrant.  The center is estimated to be very near the south coast
of central Cuba, with much of the thunderstorms over the island.
Since the storm has not changed much since last evening, the
initial intensity is held at 55 kt.  The NOAA Hurricane Hunters are
scheduled to investigate Eta again later this morning once it
emerges off the north coast of Cuba.
Eta continues to move northeastward, but at a slightly slower pace
of 10 kt.  The cyclone is now located just to the east or southeast
of a mid- to upper-level low. This feature and a broader trough over
the Gulf of Mexico should cause Eta to turn northward later this
morning and then northwestward this afternoon and evening.  This
track should take the core of Eta across central Cuba during the
next couple of hours and then into the Straits of Florida.  Eta is
forecast to pass over the Florida Keys tonight. After that time, a
slow westward motion is expected as the cyclone merges with the
trough over the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Monday and Tuesday.
Later in the week, the steering currents weaken and Eta will likely
be drifting around over the Gulf of Mexico.  The new NHC track
forecast is a little to the south, or left, of the previous one to
come into better agreement with the latest models.
The tropical storm is feeling some effects of southwesterly wind
shear and water vapor satellite images show a swath of dry air
entraining into the western side of the circulation.  These factors
along with the interaction with the landmass of Cuba later this
morning should cause Eta to hold steady in strength or weaken a
little in the short term.  The shear is expected to lessen when the
storm moves over the Straits of Florida, and that could allow Eta to
become more symmetric and strengthen, and it could become a
hurricane as it approaches the Florida Keys tonight.  After the
cyclone passes the Keys and enters the Gulf of Mexico, there are
mixed signals in the models.  Although the shear is expected to be
moderate while Eta passes over the warm waters of the Gulf of
Mexico Loop current, there will likely be drier air surrounding
the storm.  As a compromise, the NHC intensity forecast shows Eta
holding relatively steady in strength for much of the forecast
Key Messages:
1. Heavy rainfall from Eta will continue across portions of Cuba,
Jamaica, the Bahamas, and southern Florida and spread north into
central 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 river flooding in
central Florida.
2. Tropical storm conditions are expected to continue today 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 this
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. Residents in the Storm Surge Watch
area should follow any advice given by local officials.
INIT  08/0900Z 21.5N  79.3W   55 KT  65 MPH
 12H  08/1800Z 23.0N  79.4W   55 KT  65 MPH
 24H  09/0600Z 24.5N  81.1W   60 KT  70 MPH
 36H  09/1800Z 24.3N  83.0W   60 KT  70 MPH
 48H  10/0600Z 24.2N  84.2W   60 KT  70 MPH
 60H  10/1800Z 24.2N  85.0W   60 KT  70 MPH
 72H  11/0600Z 24.6N  85.3W   60 KT  70 MPH
 96H  12/0600Z 25.8N  85.0W   55 KT  65 MPH
120H  13/0600Z 26.7N  84.4W   50 KT  60 MPH
Forecaster Cangialosi

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Page last modified: Thursday, 31-Dec-2020 12:10:45 UTC