ORLANDO, Fla. – Tropical Storm Eta made landfall in lower Matecumbe Key late Sunday night.
As it progresses overnight toward the Gulf, it will still bring flooding to South Florida, along with strong winds and dangerous storm surge to South Florida and the Keys.
It will move into the Gulf, where it is expected to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane and then meander in the Gulf for a few days. Near the end of the week, we’re expecting to see a forward motion toward the west coast of Florida with potential landfall just north of Tampa. Models still show disagreement between this progression or fizzling out. More agreement is expected over the next few days.
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Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles from the center. During the past few hours, tropical-storm-force winds gusts have been occurring all along the southeast Florida coast.
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County Impacts from Tropical Storm Eta
The center of Tropical Storm Eta will move toward the Florida Keys through Sunday. While the center will remain far away from Central Florida, Eta’s wind field will expand. Expect tropical downpours to increase in coverage Sunday evening through Monday afternoon. Impacts as a whole will be relatively low through Central Florida, but will be noticeable.
Wind gusts will gradually increase to 30-45mph Sunday night. Higher gusts will be possible in the more intense tropical downpours. The highest impacts relatively speaking will be along the coast with a prolonged east wind into the beaches. A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Brevard County, meaning tropical storm conditions are expected.
The tornado threat with outer bands of Eta is not zero, but the highest threat will be well south of Central Florida closer to Eta’s center. Stay weather aware for any watches or warnings through Monday.
Central Florida Impacts:
Spotty power outages
Loose items (garbage cans, lawn items) being blown around.
Minor tree damage
Hazardous driving in heaviest tropical downpours
The storm itself will likely meander in the Gulf of Mexico for days before potentially making landfall in the Florida Panhandle or west coast. Breezy conditions will continue through the middle of the week.