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Tropical storm warning, watch issued for Florida gulf coast ahead of Eta

Posted at 1:55 PM, Nov 10, 2020

Florida is once again in the crosshairs of Tropical Storm Eta as the slow-moving system meanders its way toward Florida’s Gulf Coast.

On Tuesday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning for the Dry Tortugas, and a tropical storm watches for parts of Florida's west coast, including the Tampa area.

The storm has top sustained winds of 60 mph and has been drifting off the northwest coast of Cuba since early Monday after Eta went over the Florida Keys. The tropical storm’s outer bands have been raking the Florida peninsula for days.

As it turns more toward the north, Eta is forecast to remain a tropical storm until Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Eta’s forecast cone does not bring the center of it over land until then, but its outer rain bands are expected to dump heavy rain in parts of Florida that could lead to flooding.

Eta was the 12th named system to strike the US this hurricane season, setting a record. This hurricane season set a new record on Monday for most named systems with 29 after the formation of Theta in the eastern Atlantic.

Theta marks the deepest jaunt down the Greek hurricane naming list. Theta is the seventh storm this season named after a letter in the Greek alphabet. The only other time the Greek alphabet has been used was in 2005.

Eta previously struck Central America as a powerful Category 4 hurricane last week.

The Atlantic hurricane season still has another three weeks to go, and it’s not unheard of for a system to develop in December if conditions are favorable, like they have been for much of 2020.