MIAMI, Florida – NOAA’s National Hurricane Center issued a Public Advisory at 7 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, due to the presence of Tropical Storm Eta that is tracking toward Florida’s west coast.
This is the first time an Atlantic Hurricane Season has reached the name Eta in the Greek Alphabet.
Eta is the twenty-eighth named storm of the 2020 season which ties the record for the number of named storms set in 2005.
Tropical Storm Eta is located about 170 miles south-southwest of Tampa, Florida, and is moving to the north-northeast at 15 mph (24 km/h).
NHC forecasters say that a motion toward the north-northeast is forecast through Thursday.
On the official NHC forecast track, the center of Eta will move closer to but offshore of the southwest coast of Florida today, approach the west-central coast of Florida Wednesday night and move inland over the northern portion of the Florida peninsula on Thursday.
Eta is expected to move northeastward into the western Atlantic late Thursday or early Friday.
Computer models have become in strong agreement overnight, and are now well clustered just east of the previous NHC forecast track as it seems apparent that Eta will now recurve around the ridge toward the Florida Big Bend region and out into the western Atlantic Ocean.
The biggest change is that the models are faster than before, and the official NHC forecast follows that lead, along with a small eastward forecast adjustment, near or just east of the model consensus.
Tropical Storm Eta has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 km/h), with higher gusts.
Eta is expected to be near or at hurricane strength tonight as it approaches the west coast of Florida, with rapid weakening expected after landfall on Thursday.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km) from the center of the cyclone.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect from Anna Maria Island to Yankeetown, Florida.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Dry Tortugas and from Bonita Beach to the Suwannee River, Florida.
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from Bonita Beach to Steinhatchee River, Florida, including Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from north of the Suwannee River to the Aucilla River, Florida; and the Cuban provinces of La Habana, Artemisa, Mayabeque, Pinar del Rio, and the Isle of Youth.
September 10 was the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season where tropical cyclone activity significantly increases. But hurricane season still remains at an increased level of activity through the first half of November, according to NOAA and the National Weather Service’s historical data.
NOAA and Colorado State University forecast an “extremely active” 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season which runs from June 1 through November 30.