In the tropics, Tropical Storm Eta has rapidly intensified in the past 24 hours into Major Hurricane Eta–a powerful category 4 hurricane with max winds at 130 mph. Eta set to make landfall within the next 36 hours in Northern Nicaragua, with impacts extending Northward into Honduras. Eta is now the 12th hurricane of 2020, and the 5th major hurricane (cat. 3+) this year. This will be a devastating storm for the region, with gratuitous rainfall on the order of 25-35” possible as well as widespread mudslides across Nicaragua & Honduras.
What’s changed about Eta’s forecast is what is expected to happen after landfall. As the storm decays farther inland, the remnants of it are now expected to begin lifting Northward Friday/Saturday into the Western Caribbean, potentially re-strengthening & tracking towards Cuba. Because of the high uncertainty with this forecast, we now can’t say for sure whether or not this could impact the US. If it does, it wouldn’t be for at least another week. Stay tuned to the forecast later this week for more updates!