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CARIB | Nov 3, 2020

Western Caribbean again on alert as ‘zombie Eta’ expected to return this weekend

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

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A terrifying perspective from space as Hurricane Eta roars towards Central America on Monday, November 2. From a tropical depression to category four hurricane in 48 hours—hundreds of thousands across Central America are in its massive storm’s crosshairs when it makes landfall later tonight. (Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Amdinistration)

An incoming Hurricane Eta makes landfall in Nicaragua as a powerful category four cyclone later tonight, Tuesday (November 3). Projections on its path through Central America, however, could see the storm return to western Caribbean waters this weekend.

According to the US-based National Hurricane Center (NHC), Eta is likely to be a weakened tropical depression just off the coast of Belize by early Saturday—before roaring ‘back to life’ as a tropical storm in another 24 hours.

By that time, the NHC, in its five-day potential track area of Eta, expects the system to pose a renewed threat to sections of the Cayman Islands, Cuba and Jamaica.

Projections by US meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) on the likely track of Hurricane Eta. (Photo: nhc.noaa.gov)

As at 4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST), Hurricane Eta is situated at latitude 13.8 North, longitude 83.5 West—or roughly 25 kilometres south-southwest of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua.

The system is still a frightening category four hurricane, packing maximum sustained winds at 220 kilometres/hour, with higher gusts.

Hurricane Eta continues to move west, now crawling at seven kilometres/hour.

Hurricane-force winds continue to extend outward up to 35 kilometres from Eta’s centre, while tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 185 kilometres.

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The latest minimum central pressure reported by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reconnaissance aircraft is 940 millibars (27.76 inches).

In its three-day outlook, NHC meteorologists anticipate Hurricane Eta to turn toward the north, and then north-northeast by Thursday night and Friday.

“On the forecast track, the centre of Eta is expected to move inland over northern Nicaragua through Wednesday morning, and then move across the central portions of Honduras through Thursday morning,”

“The system is forecast to emerge over the northwestern Caribbean Sea Thursday night or Friday,” the NHC advised.

Showers associated with Hurricane Eta cover much of the western Caribbean and Central America and will persist until Sunday, the NHC warned.

Large swaths of the western Caribbean and Central America are all but eclisped under the sheer scale of Hurricane Eta. Latest developments are as at 4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Tuesday. (Photo: nhc.noaa.gov)

Flash flood warnings have been activated across much of Nicaragua, Honduras, eastern Guatemala and Belize, as well as sections of El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama and southern Mexico.

Respective flash flood watches also remain in effect for the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and southern Haiti.

Eta joins four other hurricanes, Laura, Teddy, Delta and Epsilon—that became major (category three or stronger) storms this year.

The massive storm is the 12th named hurricane of the hyperactive 2020 North Atlantic season.

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