Miami, Fl (Florida News Network)-At 4:00 PM EST, the center of Tropical Storm Eta was located by reconnaissance aircraft, Doppler radars, and satellites near latitude 27.3 North, longitude 83.6 West. Eta is moving toward the north near 12 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue overnight, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast and northeast Thursday morning.
On the forecast track, the center of Eta will move closer to but just offshore of the west-central coast of Florida tonight, and move inland over the northern portion of the Florida peninsula on Thursday. Eta is expected to move northeastward into the western Atlantic late Thursday and early Friday.
Data from the aircraft and NOAA Doppler weather radars indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts. Slow weakening is expected as Eta approaches the west coast of Florida tonight, followed by rapid weakening after landfall occurs on Thursday.
The Hurricane Watch for portions of the west coast of Florida has been discontinued.
The Tropical Storm Warning has been discontinued for the Dry Tortugas.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for...* Bonita Beach to Suwanee River Florida, including Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...* Bonita Beach to Suwannee River Florida
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for...* Steinhatchee River to Suwannee River Florida
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...* North of the Suwannee River to Aucilla River Florida
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center. A wind gust to 60 mph (96 km/h) was reported this afternoon at Punta Gorda, Florida, while a gust to 55 mph was reported St. Petersburg.
Eta is expected to produce the following rainfall totals: West and central Florida, through Thursday: 2 to 4 inches, with maximum storm total accumulations of 6 inches.
North and South Florida, through Thursday: An additional 1 to 2 inches, with isolated maximum storm total accumulations of 4 inches in North Florida and 20 inches in South Florida.
Additional flash and urban flooding will be possible in South Florida through Thursday, especially across previously inundated areas. Flash, urban, and isolated minor river flooding is expected across portions of West and North Florida through Thursday.
Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Tropical Storm Warning area along the Florida west coast by this afternoon and evening. Tropical Storm conditions are possible in the watch area along the Florida Big Bend region by Thursday.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 990 mb (29.24 inches).
Data and graphic credit: National Hurricane Center