Eta could impact the northwestern Bahamas as a Cat. 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — With meteorologists predicting Tropical Storm Eta could impact the northwest Bahamas as a strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane, Chief Climatological Officer Geoffrey Greene urged residents to remain watchful and begin preparations ahead of the weekend.
“It’s definitely moving close to us in the western Bahamas, especially the Bimini, Grand Bahama, Andros area,” Greene told Eyewitness News.
However, Greene said the models were still uncertain.
While some projections put The Bahamas in the impact zone, others show the storm veering more west to South Florida or traveling into the eastern Gulf Coast.
“It is one that we have to watch,” said Greene, noting meteorologists will have a better idea of where the storm will move in the coming days.
“I would say, especially coming this Friday into Saturday, we would have a better idea of how the system is moving.
“Of course, the system may not develop how they have it programmed when it comes off the Central America coast because it has to redevelop.
“So, hopefully, that doesn’t materialize and it doesn’t redevelop.
“But if it does, it is most likely that it will take that motion toward Cuba, Cayman Islands, and just around South Florida and the northern Bahamas.
“So, we have to be very careful.”
Asked what The Bahamas could expect if the storm maintained a path towards it, Greene said: “It would be between a strong tropical storm and a weak Category 1 hurricane. It will be hard to say exactly which one it will be. At worst it will probably be a weak Category 1 hurricane.”
Eta weakened from a Category 4 storm on Tuesday to a tropical storm today.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Eta is forecast to move across Honduras later Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning, over the Gulf of Honduras or the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Thursday night and Friday.
The storm is forecasted to regain tropical storm strength before it moves across portions of Cuba on Saturday morning and approaches southern Florida this weekend.
The storm had sustained winds of 45 miles per hour as of noon.
With existing restrictive measures in Grand Bahama, Abaco, and New Providence, to mitigate against COVID-19, Greene cautioned residents against waiting until Friday to prepare.
He pointed out stores will be crowded ahead of the 24-hour curfew.
Eta is the 28th named storm for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season, tying for the most named storms in a season since 2005.
In 2005, the 28th storm was a subtropical storm added after the season.
When the reason runs out of names on the official list, the Greek alphabet is used.