SPARED: Eta veers off from Bahamas, headed for South Florida as a tropical storm

SPARED: Eta veers off from Bahamas, headed for South Florida as a tropical storm

System expected to bring heavy rain and moderate winds over northwest Bahamas

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Tropical Depression Eta is now projected to veer further northeast away from The Bahamas and toward South Florida as a tropical storm next week, though meteorologists warn the storm’s outer bands could bring significant rainfall and some moderate winds to the northwestern Bahamas.

“The new path put out has it turning even sooner now,” Chief Climatological Officer Geoffrey Greene told Eyewitness News.

“So, as soon as it crosses central Cuba it turns. That is very good for us.

“Now, the only thing is that we probably still will get a lot of rainfall and we still will get windy conditions like we are having now.

“So, I don’t see that being such a big problem. We will have pockets of flooding, areas that normally flood will flood.

“But again, it will be pretty windy for the weekend. I don’t think we will be out of the system until probably late Tuesday.”

Portions of the central Bahamas, including Exuma, Long Island and Cat Island could also experience some adverse weather, according to Greene.

However, he encouraged Bahamians to remain “on guard” as the path could change.

Modeling on Wednesday had the storm strengthening to a possible Category 1 hurricane with a forecast path toward Cuba and the northwestern Bahamas.

The storm, which has slowed overnight, is now forecasted to regain tropical storm strength over the northwest Caribbean Sea tomorrow and move northeastward.

While its exact path remains uncertain, the models show the storm making landfall in Cuba on Sunday and South Florida on Monday.

As of this morning, Eta was over Honduras around 80 miles southwest of La Ceiba.

It was moving northwest at around nine miles per hour.

The tropical depression had sustained winds of 30 miles per hour.

The storm made battered Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane when it made landfall on Tuesday.

By Wednesday morning it had weakened to a tropical storm, but life-threatening flash floods continued over portions of Central America.

According to the Associated Press, at least 13 lives were claimed in Nicaragua.

Eta is the 28th named storm for the 2020 Atlantic season, which concludes at the end of this month.