Pinellas County in Tropical Storm Eta’s forecast cone

Pinellas County and much of the west coast of Florida is in Tropical Storm Eta’s forecast cone.

National Hurricane Center’s latest forecast shows Tropical Storm Eta on a possible path toward the state of Florida and Pinellas County. If the track holds true, the storm could bring rain and wind to the area by early next week.

Eta made landfall along the coast of Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane Tuesday afternoon. Eta is expected to become a tropical depression tonight. It is expected to turn northeast and emerge over the Gulf of Honduras or the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Thursday night or Friday. Strengthening is forecast with Eta becoming a tropical storm by Friday night.

NHC says there is uncertainty about what parts of Cuba and Florida that Eta may pass near or over. Emergency officials say the best thing to do is be prepared. Hurricane season doesn’t end until Nov. 30.

For preparation information, visit http://www.pinellascounty.org/resident/disasters.htm.

Busy season

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate prediction experts forecast early on that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season would be a busy one. Eta was the 28th named storm of the season that has had 12 hurricanes and five major hurricanes.

It is tied with 2005 as the most active season and is the second season to use Greek letters to name storms. The first season was 2005. Eleven storms have made landfall in the United States, which breaks the record of nine set in 1916.

An average hurricane season includes 12 named storms with six strengthening into a hurricane and three becoming a major hurricane.

NOAA predicted that this year could have between 19-25 named storms, seven-11 hurricanes and three-six major hurricanes, which are a Category 3 or above.