Tropical Storm Eta will bring heavy rain and strong winds to southwest Florida until Monday morning. Here’s what you need to know:
What is the latest?
After moving through Cuba this morning and weakening slightly, Eta is currently moving back into the warm waters of the Florida Strait. According to the most recent update from the National Hurricane Center, Eta’s winds have risen again to 65 mph.
It is moving northwest at 14 mph.
Eta is forecast to turn sharply westward tonight, missing out on our coastline to the south. Eta has coped with the dry air which has kept it from strengthening much today.
The National Hurricane Center maintains that Eta will become a Category 1 hurricane by the end of tomorrow.
However, even if the center of the storm would be south of us, the worst weather for Eta would be north and east of the storm. As a result, we’ll see a long gust of wind and heavy rain that starts tonight and continues through Monday.
Clocks and Alerts:
Tropical Storm Alerts include DeSoto, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry, Glades, and Inland Collier counties. Precautions Tropical storms are in effect for De Soto.
Storm Alert is in effect for coastal parts of SWFL from south of Bonita Beach; this includes Naples, the Island of Marco and the City of Everglades. The coast of Collier County is in effect monitoring storm surge.
Heavy Rain / Flooding
The drizzle would sweep through the area in a strong band overnight, peaking in range and intensity from tonight to Monday morning as Eta moves south of the area.
Total rainfall will be highest south of Caloosahatchee, where 3-6 inch rainfall will be heavy. Some points in southern Collier could see higher water volumes, leading to flooding. Be careful on the road, especially when going to work on a Monday morning, as the road can get flooded.
Remember: turn around, don’t drown!
Wind has wind
All SWFLs are currently on a tropical storm warning – at least you can expect a tropical storm (40mph) strong winds tonight. The strongest winds will be along the coast, especially in Collier where there is a storm tracking mode.
Regular winds will blow to and over 60 miles per hour. While the worst winds will be tonight / early tomorrow, we will have gusts of wind near and through a tropical storm throughout Monday through Tuesday.
Before strong winds today, do your best to go around your yard and pick / tie whatever will blow around tonight. Things like outdoor furniture, outdoor potted plants, etc.
Tie them down or put them in. These prolonged tropical storm winds will put serious strain on the grid, while the combination of strong winds and saturated ground will spill some trees.
I hope we won’t see a power outage across the area, but some of us could be out of power, especially in Collier tonight.
South-facing beaches will experience some flooding tides over the next few days, especially during high tide. Storm surge will never reach the criteria for rapid evacuation, but the tide will be 1-3 feet higher than usual until midweek, flooding some lower areas. The coast of Collier County is in effect monitoring storm surge.
Obviously it is not advisable to paddle for the next few days, as the stalled Eta will continue to stir the Gulf of Mexico waters. Projected wave heights of 4-6 feet along our coastline through midweek, peaking as the storm passes tonight and tomorrow at around 7-10 feet.
The possibility of a few weak cyclones in the tornado rains entering the area tonight. Like everything else I discussed above, the greatest threat to this will be in Collier County.
As such, there is a way to receive an alert if and when the alert comes in before you go to bed tonight.
Conditions should improve tomorrow, but we will track Eta in the Gulf of Mexico throughout the week as it slowly heads north. Stick with ABC7 online and online for the latest information!