DORAL, FL – Tropical Depression Eta, which hit Nicaragua on Tuesday as a Category 4 hurricane with at least 57 deaths reported, is expected to re-strengthen into a tropical storm later Friday and arrive in South Florida on Sunday Nov.8 with tropical-storm-force winds and drenching rain.
“Widespread heavy rainfall and strong, potentially damaging winds will begin across southern Florida on Sunday, and continue through Monday night as Eta moves near our region,” announced the Miami/South Florida Weather Forecast Office on Saturday.
NBC 6 meteorologist John Morales is under the impression there’s only a small possibility Eta becomes a hurricane again within the region, since most models show it will remain as a storm for the next seven days.
“Models are in general agreement that Eta will survive long enough to emerge and partially strengthen over the warm waters of east Belize this weekend. When an upper level trough crosses the Gulf of Mexico, the storm will move northeast. Cuba could face a tropical storm on Sunday and South Florida could face it on Monday,” said the expert on his Facebook account.
The Weather Service upped its rainfall projections for South Florida now calling for 10 to 15 inches of rain from Homestead to Fort Lauderdale with 8 to 10 inches in West Palm Beach.
The southeast coast, from the Everglades to West Palm Beach, is now under a hurricane watch until Tuesday and warned of a possible “long duration flooding event.”
The Hurricane Center said the chances of tropical-storm-force winds were highest in Marathon on Tuesday at 40%, with Key West and Fort Lauderdale close behind at 39%. Miami and Homestead’s chances have crept up from about 26% to about 29%.
In Miami-Dade County, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has asked all residents and businesses to review their disaster kits and hurricane aircraft and to remain alert for new information and instructions about the developing storm.
Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said on its social media accounts that Miami-Dade Schools will be making an announcement in reference to Eta and the status of schools by noon on Sunday.