Tropical Storm Eta has frozen. This is what it means for Miami, Florida and Cuba.
Eta floods the streets and neighbourhoods in Miami and South Florida.
Tropical storm Eta arrived in the Keys on Sunday evening and continued to move, but the rain continues to bathe the southern half of Florida. They were leaving behind flooded streets and courtyards.
Tropical Storm Eta was frozen in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday morning, close enough to Cuba and South Florida that it could continue to bathe both with heavy rains throughout the day.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Eta was about 60 miles northwest of Cuba’s western tip at 10 a.m. with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph with stronger gusts.
Forecasters said it is expected to start advancing north on Tuesday evening, toward Florida. While further strengthening is possible in the next day or so, Eta is scheduled to begin seeing some weakening on Thursday, according to the Hurricane Center.
Tropical storm Eta is forecast to approach Florida’s Gulf Coast later this week as a tropical storm later this week, possibly with rain, wind and storm surges. Eta’s forecast trail shows it will weaken to a tropical depression by the time it approaches the Florida Panhandle and Alabama this weekend, possibly early Sunday.
The hurricane centre said storm patterns generally agree that Eta will move north for the next two to three days, but they separate from there. Some suggest a northeast route, others go straight north, and some hook northwest towards Mississippi and Louisiana. Forecasters have said a weaker storm will bend to the west and a more vigorous storm to the northeast, although they deem a northeasterly bend “unlikely”.
What forecasters know is that those living on Florida’s Gulf Coast must continue to monitor Eta’s progress. They also know that heavy rains will continue in western Cuba and South Florida, heavy rains will continue at least Tuesday night and that there is a risk of flooding, particularly in areas that are already saturated.
WHAT TYPE OF WEATHER IS ETA CAUSING?
The waves generated by Eta are expected to affect Cuba’s northern coast, the northwestern Bahamas, southern Florida and the Florida Keys around the next day. They are likely to cause life-threatening surf conditions and rips, according to the hurricane centre.
In terms of precipitation, western Cuba should expect to see another three to five inches of new rain on Tuesday. South Florida should expect to see another 1-2 inches of new rain, meteorologists said. The Hurricane Center estimates that isolated areas of Cuba will have seen about 25 centimetres of rain in recent days in connection with Eta. In southern Florida, remote areas have seen 20 inches of rain.
“Sudden and fluvial floods in the western part of Cuba will be possible, together with landslides in the higher ground areas. Further urban lightning and flooding, especially in previously flooded areas, will be possible today and tonight in South Florida,” the forecasters wrote on Tuesday.
Tropical storm winds will also be possible on Tuesday in the Cuban provinces of La Habana, Artemisa, Mayabeque, Pinar del Rio, and the Isle of Youth, all guarded by tropical storms.