Eta Slimes Florida With Foot of Rain So Far, Sets New Record, More Storms May Follow

After killing more than 100 people in Central America, Eta made landfall across the Florida Keys overnight and has now moved west into the SE Gulf of Mexico. Numerous curved bands continue to rotate into southern Florida where more than 13 inches of rainfall has been recorded. Eta is the 12 landfalling tropical system on the US coast this season…the previous record was 9 in 1916.

This morning’s satellite image shows the eye of Eta visible in yesterday’s images has collapsed.

Meanwhile, two more storms are brewing in the Atlantic. One is heading away from land. The other, which has a 50% chance of formation in the next five days is moving into the central Caribbean.

Discussion of Eta

Eta’s made landfall on the middle Florida Keys late yesterday evening and has continued westward across Florida Bay and is now over the SE Gulf of Mexico. Eta has maintained well-defined circulation. The wind field has also expanded with tropical storm force winds extending well away from the center and well north along the Florida coast. 

The official forecast from the NHC takes Eta toward north Florida, but much divergence remains among the models.

ETA’s Track 

Eta will move west to WSW for the next 24 hours, then meander over the SE/E Gulf of Mexico into the middle of the week. The storm could stall over the warm waters of the Gulf loop current. But by later this week, a strong upper-level trough should turn Eta north and then northeast back toward Florida. However, forecast models vary widely. Confidence is low regarding the track forecast. Large changes remain possible. Little consensus exists between weather models. shows wide divergence of models.
The South Florida Water Management District shows even less consensus.

Eta’s Intensity

Even though Eta is moving over warm waters, wind sheer and surrounding dry air should keep it in check. The official forecast brings Eta to a minimal hurricane over the SE Gulf of Mexico before weakening again late in the week. 

Other Storms

Two other areas of interest have developed in the Atlantic basin and 97L over the eastern Atlantic has a high chance of developing into a tropical system while the tropical wave approaching the Caribbean has a medium chance of developing later this week. The next tropical storm will break the previous record for the most tropical storms in an Atlantic hurricane season.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/9/2020

1168 Days since Hurricane Harvey