Issued at 1000 PM EST Sat Nov 07 2020


000
WTNT44 KNHC 080256
TCDAT4
 
Tropical Storm Eta Discussion Number  31
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL292020
1000 PM EST Sat Nov 07 2020

A NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft found that Eta has continued to 
strengthen. An abbreviated mission found that the pressure had 
dropped to 991 mb, with believable SFMR winds of 55 kt.  Since the 
plane left, the cloud pattern has not become better organized, and 
perhaps some shear is affecting the cyclone.  Thus, the initial wind 
speed is kept at 55 kt.  
 
The storm continues to move to the northeast tonight. While the 
overall synoptic pattern remains the same, there has been a big 
change to note with the track forecast, with a notable south and 
west trend with almost all of the guidance on Sunday and beyond.  
It appears that the system becomes more involved with a closed low 
forming near western Cuba tomorrow, which causes a sharper and 
faster left turn near the Florida Straits or Keys.  The new NHC 
forecast is shifted in that direction, but is well north of the bulk 
of the guidance due to continuity concerns, and future southward 
and faster shifts are possible.  I should mention that even if the 
forecast does shift farther south, tropical-storm-force winds will 
likely cover much of the southern and central Florida peninsula due 
to the expected growth of Eta.  Beyond Florida, this one of those 
times where the track uncertainty is much larger than normal, so 
check back tomorrow for further updates as big long-range changes 
are possible.

Eta is likely to maintain its intensity before landfall in Cuba, 
then weaken somewhat due to the rugged terrain there.  The storm 
should re-intensify over the Florida Straits in moderate shear 
conditions but with favorable forcing from the upper-level low.  No 
change has been made to the intensity forecast near Florida, and Eta 
is likely to be near or at hurricane-strength there.  Over the 
southeastern Gulf of Mexico, some dry air entrainment could briefly 
cause some weakening, but the system is forecast to move very slowly 
over the warm waters.  In fact, a large portion of the guidance 
actually show it re-gaining hurricane strength as it moves farther 
away from any cooler shelf waters near Florida and sits over the 
Loop Current.  While it seems pre-mature to raise the forecast much 
due to the large track uncertainty, the forecast is bumped up on 
days 3-4, but is below the model consensus.    
 
Key Messages:
 
1. Heavy rainfall will continue across portions of Cuba and 
Jamaica, and will spread north into the Bahamas and southern 
Florida. This rain may result in significant, life-threatening 
flash flooding and river flooding in Cuba. Flash and urban flooding 
will also be possible for Jamaica, the Bahamas and southern 
Florida, along with potential minor to isolated moderate river 
flooding in Central Florida.
 
2. Tropical storm conditions are expected tonight and Sunday in 
portions of Cuba and the northwestern Bahamas, where Tropical
Storm Warnings are in effect.

3. Damaging tropical-storm-force winds are expected to begin Sunday 
afternoon, with hurricane-force winds possible, in the Florida Keys 
and portions of the southern Florida peninsula, where a Tropical 
Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch are in effect.  Elsewhere across
portions of the east and west coasts of the Florida peninsula, the
risk of tropical-storm-force winds will extend well away from Eta's
center, and Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings are in effect.
 
4. A dangerous storm surge is possible along portions of the 
southern coast of the Florida peninsula and the Florida Keys, where
a Storm Surge Watch is in effect. Residents in the Storm Surge Watch
area should follow any advice given by local officials.
 
 
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
 
INIT  08/0300Z 20.7N  79.9W   55 KT  65 MPH
 12H  08/1200Z 22.1N  79.3W   50 KT  60 MPH...INLAND
 24H  09/0000Z 23.8N  79.8W   60 KT  70 MPH...OVER WATER
 36H  09/1200Z 24.9N  81.4W   60 KT  70 MPH
 48H  10/0000Z 25.0N  83.0W   55 KT  65 MPH
 60H  10/1200Z 25.0N  84.0W   60 KT  70 MPH
 72H  11/0000Z 25.5N  84.5W   60 KT  70 MPH
 96H  12/0000Z 26.0N  84.5W   55 KT  65 MPH
120H  13/0000Z 27.0N  84.0W   45 KT  50 MPH
 
$$
Forecaster Blake