Higher than normal “level of uncertainty” regarding forecast track, says hurricane center
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The northwestern Bahamas and South Florida is in Hurricane Eta’s extended forecast cone as the Category 4 storm pounds northeastern Nicaragua with catastrophic winds, flash flooding and life-threatening storm surge.
The storm is projected to lose strength as it passes through Central America, passing over Guatemala, Belize and Mexico, before turning northeast and back out to the Caribbean Sea Thursday night or Friday, where it is expected to regain strength.
Eta is then expected to pass over Cuba and could reach South Florida and the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday as a tropical storm.
But meteorologists note the models leave some “uncertainty” on where the storm will travel once it leaves Central America.
“There is still significant spread among the various global models and the ensembles, which results in a higher than normal level of uncertainty regarding the details of the track and intensity forecast later in the period,” the National Hurricane Center said.
It continued: “While it is too soon to determine the exact timing, magnitude and location of possible impacts from wind and rainfall, interests in Cuba, southern Florida and the Florida Keys should monitor the progress of Eta through the week.”
The storm had sustained winds of 140 miles per hour when it made landfall.
Several hours later, the storm weakened to a Category 2 storm.
It maintained winds of 110 miles per hour as it tore roofs off houses, and toppled trees and power lines.
Further weakening is expected tonight.
According to the center, the storm could continue to produce life-threatening conditions in Nicaragua and other Central American nations through Friday.
Flash and river flooding is also possible across Jamaica, southeast Mexico, El Salvador, southern Haiti and the Cayman Islands, the center said.
Purported footage of the Glass Window Bridge in Eleuthera yesterday showed significant seawater crashing over the renowned Eleutheran landmark.
The coast of Nicaragua from Honduras, Nicaragua border to Sandy Bay Sirpi remains under a hurricane warning, while a tropical storm warning remains in effect for the northeastern coast of Honduras, and the coast of Nicaragua from south of Sandy Bay Sirpi to Laguna de Perlas.