Rainfall is likely to lead to life-threatening flash floods and landslides, as well as storm surges that will cause water levels to rise 2 to 4 feet above normal level rise along the coast, according to the NHC.
By Sunday afternoon or evening, tropical storm conditions are expected to begin in the South Florida and the Florida Keys, where Eta is headed for after tracking across Cuba on Sunday morning. It was forecast to strengthen near hurricane level when it reached the Florida Keys on Sunday night.
By the end of Monday and into Tuesday, Eta will move into the Gulf of Mexico, NHC said.
Storm warnings and tropical storm warnings are in effect for the South Florida and Florida Keys.
A tropical storm warning was also in effect for the Cayman Islands, parts of central Cuba and northwestern Bahamas.
Latin America and the Caribbean prepare for the damage
In Cuba, the country’s Civil Defense Forces updated the warnings on Saturday and issued “Alert Phase” for some western and central regions.
“Facing Eta, there’s no time to waste and protection is a priority,” Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel tweeted on Saturday.
In Mexico, the National Meteorological Agency said “Eta’s wide circulation is causing torrential rains on the Yucatan peninsula and in southeastern Mexico.” The service said the rain is expected to last through Monday and will affect the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Yucatán.
Lopez Obrador warned of a possible “emergency” in Tabasco as extensive flooding from Eta is expected, and said he was calling for an urgent meeting of the Security Cabinet. security.
“We are talking about unprecedented rainfall before,” in the region, López Obrador said in a video message posted on his official Twitter account.
Emergency preparations are underway to prevent destruction and loss of life, said López Obrador.
Eta looked at southern Florida
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for eight counties on Saturday as Eta approached, according to Fredrick Piccolo Jr., the governor’s communications director.
The Governor declared a state of emergency for Broward, Collier, Hendry, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties in south Florida “very cautious,” Piccolo said. Counties include the cities of Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and Key West.
Storm warnings covered Florida’s south coast from Deerfield Beach to Bonita Bay and Florida Keys from Ocean Reef to Dry Tortugas, including Florida Bay and Florida Keys. Storm monitoring means storm conditions are likely to occur within the next 48 hours.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect in southern Florida from north of Golden Beach to Jupiter Inlet and west of Chokoloskee to Bonita Beach, including Lake Okeechobee.
CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said: “Recent heavy rains across the region have resulted in ground saturation and urban flash floods could become a threat over the weekend and early next week depending on movement of the storm ”.
Flood warnings will go into effect for much of southern Florida through Tuesday night, where 6 to 10 inches of rain can be expected.
The mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez, declared a state of emergency on Friday as the county oversaw the storm. The ground was saturated from rainy days, so “flooding is a major concern,” said Gimenez.
In addition to heavy rains, Eta is expected to bring dangerous storm surge to coastal areas of Florida. A 2 to 3 feet storm surge is expected from North Miami Beach to Marco Island, including Biscayne Bay and the Keys. 1 to 2 feet storm surge is projected for parts of Florida’s east coast from the Flagler / Volusia County stream to North Miami Beach.
After Eta passed through southern Florida and the Keys, it remains uncertain where the storm will follow next in the Gulf of Mexico. There are a handful of medium- and higher-level atmospheric control models responsible for monitoring Eta’s seemingly erratic forecast. Due to all this steering, changes in the Eta’s track or forward movement could occur over the weekend.
CNN’s Alaa Elassar, Melissa Alonso, Radina Gigova, Mallika Kallingal, Gene Norman and Juan Paz contributed to this report.