Hurricane Eta Now Predicted to Re-emerge over NW Caribbean

The Monday 10am update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) on Hurricane Eta now predicts the storm will slam Central America then re-emerge into the Caribbean over the Bay of Honduras in the NW Caribbean.

Beyond 96 hours (Saturday), it’s uncertain what the storm will do.

NHC Predicts Cat 4

Eta has become an impressive November hurricane as it continues to undergo rapid strengthening. Low vertical wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures ahead of Eta are expected to allow for continued rapid strengthening during the next 12 to 24 hours. The updated NHC = forecast now calls for Eta to become a category 4 hurricane before it nears the coast of Nicaragua. After landfall, Eta should quickly weaken while it moves over the mountainous terrain of Central America.

Although Eta’s low-level center may not survive after being inland over Central America for so long, most of the global models depict a cyclone over the northwestern Caribbean Sea later this week and into the weekend which appears to develop from at least a part of Eta’s remnants, and the new NHC track forecast shows the system emerging over the northwest Caribbean Sea after 96 h.

However, the uncertainty in the long-range portion of the forecast remains quite high.

Key Messages

  1. Eta is forecast to strengthen to a major hurricane very soon, and additional strengthening is likely before it reaches the northeastern coast of Nicaragua on Tuesday. Catastrophic wind damage is expected where Etas eyewall moves onshore, and preparations should be rushed to completion within the Hurricane Warning area.
  2. Through Friday evening, heavy rainfall from Eta will likely lead to catastrophic, life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding across portions of Central America, along with landslides in areas of higher terrain. Flash and river flooding is also possible across Jamaica, southeast Mexico, El Salvador, southern Haiti, and the Cayman Islands.
  3. A potentially catastrophic and life-threatening storm surge, along with battering waves, is expected along portions of the northeastern coast of Nicaragua near and to the north of where the center makes landfall. Water levels could reach as high as 12 to 18 feet above normal tide levels in some parts of the hurricane warning area. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/2/2020

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