Tropical storm warnings were posted for the Florida Keys and the southernmost tip of Florida, including Miami. The warning also applies to the Cayman Islands, northwestern Bahamas and all but western Cuba (where tropical storm precaution is in place).
Tropical storm clocks extend further north in South Florida, and include Naples and Cape Coral on the west coast and West Palm beaches, Port St.. Lucie and Titusville on the East Coast.
Significant rainfall and flooding are projected in South Florida, where the National Hurricane Center predicts 5 to 10 inches or more of rainfall. Strong winds-tropical storms are also possible on Sunday night to Monday, when the nearest storm center approaches.
“Flooding is one of the biggest potential impacts from #Eta,” tweeted the National Weather Service’s office in Miami. “This risk will increase from weekend to early next week due to periods of heavy rainfall.”
In South Florida, as well as the Florida Keys, storm surge 1 to 3 feet can also occur in coastal areas from Sunday to Monday.
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, the centers of Eta are 45 miles northwest of Grand Cayman on the Cayman Islands. Maximum winds are about 40 miles per hour as the system heads northeast at 17 miles per hour.
Although the storm is still a bit bad, the Hurricane Center has noted that the Category 4 hurricane once became “slightly more organized” on Saturday morning. Currently, the majority of heavy rainfall is found east of the center of the storm, which is still quite deviated.
After three to six inches on Friday, the Cayman Islands National Weather Authority called for a six- to 10-inch gap on Saturday and a few more on Sunday. Some languages can reach a total of 20 inches. The group also predicted “continuous torrential rains and thunderstorms.”
Rain only starts to arrive along the southern coast of Central Cuba early on Saturday, with rainfall set to increase in intensity and coverage late in the day and into the night. The downpour rains will extend through Sunday mornings, with a drop of 5 to 10 inches across the board with a local total of 25 inches.
Sancti Spiritus, Santa Clara, Morón and Camaguey are all able to find themselves along the axis of the greatest rainfall.
Impact on Florida
There can be occasional showers, some heavy rains, can hit South Florida during the weekend as Eta’s humidity is pulled north.
Overnight Sunday to Monday, Eta is expected to slide north of Cuba and roll west. That would pull it up the Florida Strait, potentially crossing the Florida Keys before it meanders into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The biggest rain will likely fall east of the track.
In South Florida and the Keys, there could potentially be 5 to 10 inches of rainfall, with a handful totaling up to 15 inches. Most of the weather falls on Sunday night through Monday, but sporadic downpours can start on Saturday and can extend into early Wednesday. A flood warning was issued to the area until late Tuesday, a cold front likely to help concentrate downpours in Eta.
Miami’s 2020 rainfall is 14 inches higher on average so far after persistent heavy rains wetted the area. Almost a step in October, the ground is saturated and more prone to flooding.
Eventually, Eta will track north into the east of the Gulf of Mexico, but its future is highly uncertain. It is unlikely to become a storm, as the water area is cooler and a sudden change in wind speed and / or direction with the height known as a “cutoff” will be an obstacle.
What remains of the system could be brought into the Northern Gulf Coast in the second half of next week and sucked into a cold front that swept across the eastern United States.