Then National Hurricane Center has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for coastal Hernando County. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
Eta is currently moving north at 7 mph and is forecast to travel north/northeast through Wednesday night, followed by a turn toward the northeast on Thursday. Following this track, Eta will move parallel to but offshore of the Florida west coast on Thursday. Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph. Some strengthening is forecast through Thursday morning and could be near hurricane strength by Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Gradual weakening is expected to begin Thursday afternoon.
There is still uncertainty in the forecast track for later this week. Although Eta is not expected to make landfall along the west coast of Florida, some impacts from rain bands and above normal tides far from the center of the storm can still be anticipated.
Wind: As of the current forecast, coastal Hernando County has a 20 to 40% chance of receiving tropical storm force wind gusts greater than 39 mph, mainly in rain bands. The most likely time of arrival is Wednesday night and may continue through Friday.
Surge: Wednesday night into Friday, we could see 2 to 3 feet above normal tides, but possibly as much as 3 to 5 feet. Above normal tides are expected later in the week that could aggravate flooding in low-lying areas near the coast as any rain will be slow to drain.
Rain: 1-2 inches of rain is forecast for our area later this week. However, any changes in the forecast track is likely to also change the rainfall forecast.
It is important that residents monitor the progress of this system over the next several days. Residents are also encouraged to refresh their emergency supply kits and ensure that their disaster plan is in place.
• Register for automated severe weather notifications at http://www.AlertHernando.org
• Take this opportunity to refresh your emergency supply kit. For more information, visit http://www.HernandoCounty.us/EM
• Residents are encouraged to monitor local media outlets or the National Weather Service at https://www.weather.gov/tbw/ for current weather information.
• Test your weather radio today and change the battery if needed.