Eta continues to be a big, sloppy storm system, so much so that tropical storm force winds and minor storm surge are expected up the east coast of Florida despite the system actually passing over the Florida Keys. After that pass, the storm’s cone of uncertainty gets pretty large, covering most of he peninsula and part of the panhandle. The system’s eventual strength is hard to peg, but it’s worth noting that even though the official forecast keeps it as a tropical storm with winds below 73 MPH, a hurricane watch is also up for the southern portion of the state. Some strengthening is possible and there is at least a chance that the system’s eventual path brings it toward central Florida later in the upcoming week.
For now, the forecast for the central Florida attractions area includes the potential for wind gusts up to 25 MPH at times over the next few days, with a roughly 20% chance of seeing tropical storm force winds of 39 MPH or higher according to the National Hurricane Center. Rainfall of between 2-4 inches is possible in spots based on the current reckoning of the Weather Prediction Center. There are currently not tropical storm watches or warnings for the central Attractions area, but Port Canaveral, Kennedy Space Center, and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort are under a tropical storm watch. Disney’s Castaway Cay is under a tropical storm warning, though it’s pretty much a ghost town at the moment due to the continued shutdown of the cruise industry due to COVID-19.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one in the event of any eventual strengthening, because 2020. But for NOW, the initial thinking is that we could have some wind and rain but hopefully not anything to really write home about. But then again, it’s been so dull around the country this week, maybe we need some suspense and excitement.
Keep calm and carry on!
Tropical Storm Eta Local Statement Advisory Number 30 National Weather Service Melbourne FL AL292020 503 PM EST Sat Nov 7 2020 This product covers East Central Florida **Tropical Storm Watch Now in Effect for Okeechobee County** NEW INFORMATION --------------- * CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Okeechobee * CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Indian River, Martin, Northern Brevard, Okeechobee, Southern Brevard, and St. Lucie * STORM INFORMATION: - About 550 miles south of Cape Canaveral FL or about 470 miles south of Stuart FL - 20.4N 80.7W - Storm Intensity 60 mph - Movement Northeast or 50 degrees at 16 mph SITUATION OVERVIEW ------------------ Tropical Storm Eta, located over the northwestern Carribean Sea, will continue to move northeast and cross central Cuba tonight, then turn north and northwest across the Straits of Florida and extreme south Florida Sunday and Monday. As Eta moves closer, the wind field will expand and allow stronger winds to affect much of east central Florida Sunday into Monday. The strongest winds are expected to develop along the coast with windy conditions also developing across the interior Sunday into Monday. A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for Okeechobee county and remains in effect for Brevard, Indian River, Saint Lucie and Martin counties. A Tropical Storm Watch means tropical storm force winds with sustained winds of 40 mph may develop across the Watch area during the next 48 hours. The expanding wind field will also bring stronger winds to the Volusia coastal areas with sustained winds of 25 to 30 mph developing with gusts to 45 mph near the coast. Windy conditions will develop over the interior counties of east central Florida as well with wind speeds 20 to 30 mph. Wind gusts as high as 50 to 60 mph will be possible Sunday night and Monday as heavier showers and isolated storms stream onshore from the Atlantic. The stronger wind gusts are expected mainly along the coastal counties with wind gusts to 50 mph possible farther inland with fast moving squalls. The frequency and coverage of showers and isolated storms will increase Sunday into Monday as Eta makes it closest approach to east central Florida. The heaviest persistent outer rainbands are expected to affect the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee counties where daily rainfall totals of 2 to 3 inches are expected Sunday and Monday with cumulative rainfall amounts up to 5 to 7 inches. Locally higher amounts up to 10 inches possible along the Martin and Saint Lucie coasts. A Flood Watch is in effect for Okeechobee, Indian River, Saint Lucie and Martin counties. The expected heavy rainfall will cause localized flooding especially in poor drainage areas. Marine conditions will become extremely hazardous Sunday through Monday with high surf developing along the Atlantic coast. Moderate beach erosion and minor coastal flooding may also develop by Sunday night into Monday near the times of high tide. Large breaking waves and strong rip currents are expected which will be hazardous to anyone entering the surf. An isolated tornado may develop with fast moving showers that move quickly onshore late Sunday night into Monday. POTENTIAL IMPACTS ----------------- * FLOODING RAIN: Prepare for dangerous rainfall flooding having possible significant impacts across Okeechobee and the Treasure coast. Potential impacts include: - Moderate rainfall flooding may prompt several evacuations and rescues. - Rivers and tributaries may quickly become swollen with swifter currents and overspill their banks in a few places, especially in usually vulnerable spots. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches overflow. - Flood waters can enter some structures or weaken foundations. Several places may experience expanded areas of rapid inundation at underpasses, low-lying spots, and poor drainage areas. Some streets and parking lots take on moving water as storm drains and retention ponds overflow. Driving conditions become hazardous. Some road and bridge closures. * WIND: Prepare for hazardous wind having possible limited impacts across Martin, Saint Lucie, Okeechobee, Indian River and Brevard counties. Potential impacts in this area include: - Damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored mobile homes. Unsecured lightweight objects blown about. - Many large tree limbs broken off. A few trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Some fences and roadway signs blown over. - A few roads impassable from debris, particularly within urban or heavily wooded places. Hazardous driving conditions on bridges and other elevated roadways. - Scattered power and communications outages. * SURGE: Prepare for locally hazardous surge having possible limited impacts along the east central Florida coast. Potential impacts in this area include: - Localized inundation with storm surge flooding mainly along immediate shorelines and in low-lying spots, or in areas farther inland near where higher surge waters move ashore. - Sections of near-shore roads and parking lots become overspread with surge water. Driving conditions dangerous in places where surge water covers the road. - Moderate beach erosion. Heavy surf also breaching dunes, mainly in usually vulnerable locations. Strong rip currents. - Minor to locally moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. A few small craft broken away from moorings. * TORNADOES: Prepare for a tornado event having possible limited impacts across east central Florida. Potential impacts include: - The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events. - A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions. - Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow-rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings. Elsewhere across East Central Florida, little to no impact is anticipated. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS ---------------------------------- * EVACUATIONS: Evacuations are not expected. * OTHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION: When making safety and preparedness decisions, do not focus on the exact forecast track since hazards such as flooding rain, damaging wind gusts, storm surge, and tornadoes extend well away from the center of the storm. If you live in a place particularly vulnerable to flooding, such as in a low-lying or poor drainage area, plan to move to safe shelter on higher ground. Always heed the advice of local officials and comply with orders that are issued. Do not needlessly jeopardize your life or the lives of others. When securing your property, outside preparations should be concluded as soon as possible before conditions deteriorate. The onset of strong gusty winds or flooding can cause certain preparedness activities to become unsafe. Closely monitor weather.gov, NOAA Weather Radio and local news outlets for official storm information. Listen for possible changes to the forecast. There is a threat from tornadoes with this storm. Have multiple ways to receive Tornado Warnings. Be ready to shelter quickly. * ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION: - For information on appropriate preparations see ready.gov - For information on creating an emergency plan see getagameplan.org - For additional disaster preparedness information see redcross.org NEXT UPDATE ----------- The next local statement will be issued by the National Weather Service in Melbourne FL around 11 pm EST, or sooner if conditions warrant.