Miami,Fl. (Florida News Network)-At 1:00 AM EST, the center of Tropical Storm Eta was located near latitude 28.6 North, longitude 83.3 West. Eta is about 65 miles north-northwest of St. Petersburg, about 65 miles northwest of Tampa.
Eta is moving toward the north near 10 mph (17 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue overnight, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast and northeast this morning. On the forecast track, the center of Eta will move near but just offshore of the west-central coast of Florida during the next few hours, and move inland over the northern portion of the Florida peninsula this morning. Eta is expected to move northeastward into the western Atlantic late today and early Friday.
Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 60 mph with higher gusts. Slow weakening is expected as Eta approaches the west coast of Florida during the next few hours, followed by more rapid weakening after landfall occurs later today. Eta is forecast to dissipate over the western Atlantic Ocean by the weekend.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center. A National Ocean Service station near Clearwater Beach recently reported sustained winds of 40 mph (64 km/h) and a gust of 52 mph (84 km/h). A University of South Florida station in Fred Howard Park near Tarpon Springs recently measured sustained winds of 41 mph and a gust of 53 mph.
The minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 994 mb (29.35 inches).
Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Bonita Beach to Suwanee River Florida, including Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Englewood to Suwannee River Florida, and Flagler/Volusia County Florida line northward to St. Andrews Sound Georgia.
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Steinhatchee River to Suwannee River Florida
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for North of the Suwannee River to Aucilla River Florida
STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide... Anclote River to Boca Grande, FL including Tampa Bay...3-5 ft Boca Grande, FL to Bonita Beach, FL including Charlotte Harbor...2-4 ft., Steinhatchee River to Anclote River...2-4 ft., Bonita Beach to Flamingo...1-2 ft.
RAINFALL: Eta is expected to produce the following rainfall totals:West and central Florida, through today: 2 to 4 inches, with maximum storm total accumulations of 6 inches.
North and South Florida, through today: An additional 1 to 2 inches, with isolated maximum storm total accumulations of 4 inches in North Florida and 20 to 25 inches in South Florida.
Additional flash and urban flooding will be possible in South Florida through today, especially across previously inundated areas. Flash, urban, and isolated minor river flooding is expected across portions of West and North Florida through today.
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Tropical Storm Warning area along the Florida west coast through this morning. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area along the Florida Big Bend region today.
TORNADOES: A few tornadoes are possible overnight over parts of western and central Florida.
Data and graphic credit: National Hurricane Center