Interestingly, despite how the hurricane season works, Eta will be the first named hurricane to hit Florida this year.
If Eta made landfall in Florida, it would also be the 12th hurricane to hit the continental United States this season, the most in a year. The previous hurricanes this year were Bertha, Cristobal, Fay, Hanna, Isaias, Laura, Marco, Sally, Beta, Delta, and Zeta.
Several landings were possible on Florida
After it passes through Cuba, a high-pressure system near Bermuda will direct the hurricane part west into the Gulf of Mexico. By doing so, Eta can land in Florida anywhere from Miami to Key West.
When Eta travels far enough west of that high-pressure system, it will begin to shift north. This movement is normal for tropical systems in the Northern Hemisphere because hurricanes typically move out of the equator and to the north. Then the forecasting models really begin to separate in terms of tracking agreement. Most of this was due to a cold front moving across the southeastern United States.
“The cold fronts falling from the north could add another layer of complexity when they forecast the November landings,” CNN meteorologist Tyler Mauldin said.
This particular frigid front could cause Eta to once again return to Florida, with another landing – this time on the west coast, from Sarasota to Panama City on Panhandle.
Regardless of whether it actually makes landfall, it will bring enormous rainfall, currents and storm surges to south Florida in the next 48 hours.
From Naples to Miami via the Keys, the total extensive rainfall will likely range from 4 to 8 inches, with higher amounts of precipitation than isolating.
Severe storms accompanied by tornadoes and water drops may also strike across South Florida on Sunday.
Several storm hunter flights are scheduled for Sunday. Data is collected by these flights will give forecasters a better understanding of the atmosphere inside and around the storm, making it easier to narrow down exactly where the storm will pass.
Eta is not the only unusual song
“Florida is no stranger to tropical mischief in November,” Mauldin said. In fact, the state saw many tropical systems land on land during the month including Hurricane Kate. , is the latest storm to hit the United States, in November 1985. “
“There were even November systems that had multiple landings. Take the Gordon of 1994. It is well remembered for its erratic track, making three different landings as it moves up state.” “
But surprisingly, three separate landings weren’t a record. That title goes to Tropical Storm Fay, which broke a record four separate landings on Florida in 2008.
Fay’s first landing was at Key West on 18 August, and less than 24 hours later she made her second landing just south of Naples.
It crossed the state, entered the warm Atlantic waters near Melbourne, but then deflected westward toward Florida. This resulted in the third landing at Flagler Beach. The storm crossed the state again and entered the Gulf of Mexico. Two days later, she made her fourth and final landfall just east of Apalachicola in the Florida Panhandle.
While four separate landings were unlikely for Eta, two or even three landings were certainly a current forecast tracking ability.
Oh, and if you think 28 named storms aren’t enough … there’s another zone of tropical turbulence in the Atlantic. Currently, it has only a 20% chance of developing into a named storm over the next five days, but the next name on the list is the Greek letter Theta. If named, it would break the record for the most named storms in a single season.
CNN’s Tyler Mauldin contributed to this story.