A strengthening Tropical Storm Eta made landfall on Florida’s Lower Matecumbe Key on Sunday night, days after leaving scores of dead and over 100 missing in Mexico and Central America.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami declared hurricane and storm surge warnings for the Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas, including Florida Bay.
Florida officials closed beaches, ports and COVID testing sites, shut down public transportation and urged residents to stay off the street. Several shelters also opened in Miami and the Florida Keys for residents in mobile homes and low lying areas. Broward County also shut down in-person schooling Monday and Miami seemed poised to do the same. ...
USA Today: Tropical Storm Eta makes landfall on Florida Keys; expected to become hurricane.
The counterclockwise flow of air around a trough of low pressure to its west will steer Eta in a curving arc through the Florida Keys on Sunday, and then into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Monday. The southern end of the upper-level trough is detaching from the jet stream and forming a closed low over the southeastern Gulf, and this low is expected to merge with Eta on Monday. During this process, wind shear will fall from the high range to the moderate range, potentially allowing Eta to intensify into a category 1 hurricane as it passes through the Florida Keys on Sunday evening.
It’s more likely though that Eta would reach hurricane strength on Monday. However, there is also dry air associated with the trough, and that dry air will potentially wrap into the core of Eta and put the brakes on any rapid intensification. ...
Regardless of the exact track of Eta’s center, the storm will bring heavy rains, strong winds, and storm surge flooding well to the east of its center, resulting in several days of squally weather and locally torrential rain for South Florida and the Bahamas.
Yale Climate Connections: Tropical Storm Eta strengthens on approach to Florida Keys.
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