Tropical Storm Eta’s path changes: watches and warnings canceled in Florida

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

The center of Tropical Storm Eta is expected to move away from the Florida Keys and south Florida today and the storm should remain over the southeaster Gulf of Mexico tonight through Wednesday.

National Hurricane Center has canceled the tropical storm warnings in effect in Florida on Monday morning. However, residents along the Gulf Coast of Florida are advised to continue to monitor the storm.

At 10 a.m., Eta was about 30 miles west-southwest of the Dry Tortugas and 210 miles north-northeast of the western tip of Cuba. Maximum sustained winds were 60 mph. It was moving southwest at 14 mph.

National Hurricane Center forecasters say it is likely to strengthen a bit more through Wednesday and then begin to weaken before making landfall most likely on Saturday.

Emergency officials advise residents and guests to be prepared. Hurricane season doesn’t end until Nov. 30.

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

National Weather Service says Pinellas County and Tampa Bay could experience breezy conditions with sustained winds of 20-25 mph with gusts to tropical storm force beginning on Wednesday and continuing through Friday.

However, the local forecast has not yet been updated since NHC released it latest forecast. Everyone is urged to keep a close eye on the weather.

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 is the 28th named storm of the season that has already had 12 hurricanes and five major hurricanes.

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

The 2020 season is tied with 2005 for being the most active. It 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 this year, which breaks the record of nine set in 1916.

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.