Tropical Storm Eta is rapidly intensifying in the central Caribbean on Sunday (November 1), at a rate where it could make landfall as a category two cyclone—meteorologists at the US-based National Hurricane Center have advised.
The NHC, in a 4:00 pm advisory, noted that its NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft has recorded Eta’s maximum sustained winds hovering around 100 kilometres/hour.
What’s more, environmental conditions continue to prove conducive to the system becoming the 12th hurricane of the 2020 season.
“Rapid strengthening is forecast during the next 24 to 36 hours, and Eta is expected to become a hurricane tonight, with additional strengthening likely until the hurricane makes landfall Monday night or early Tuesday,” the NHC indicated.
As at 4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST), the centre of TS Eta was located near latitude 14.9 North, longitude 78.9 West—or roughly 360 kilometres east of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua/Honduras border.
Tropical Storm Eta is currently moving west at 24 kilometres/hour.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km) from Eta’s centre. The latest minimum central pressure reported by NOAA reconnaissance aircraft is 992 millibars (29.30 inches).
The tropical storm and hurricane warnings activated by both governments of Nicaragua and Honduras remain in effect.
On the forecast track, the NHC further advised that the centre of Eta is expected to approach the northeastern coast of Nicaragua on Monday.
The churning storm will make landfall within Nicaragua’s hurricane warning area on Monday night or early Tuesday; before moving inland over northern sections of the Central American country through early Wednesday.
TS Eta, the 28th named storm this year, quickly strengthened on Saturday—bringing storm-force winds and torrential rains to many sections of Central America and the Greater Antilles.
The NHC said that flash and river flooding is still possible in Jamaica, Haiti and the Cayman Islands.
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