Tropical Storm Eta made landfall in the Keys near Islamorada at 11pm Sunday evening with max sustained winds of 65 mph. Strong onshore flow continues to push water onshore north of the center. This, along with persistent rainfall has already led to quite a bit of flash flooding across parts of southeast Florida. Rain will continue tonight and through at least the first half of Monday. Overall, expect a messy Monday all across central and south Florida, with periods of rain and gust winds as Eta moves west into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.
Steering flow is going to collapse as the storm moves into the Gulf and Eta is likely slowly meander, if not stall altogether, a couple hundred miles offshore during the first half of the week. While the storm is this far offshore, it will be a bit of a break for Florida. Breezy days with scattered showers can be expected Tuesday and at least part of Wednesday.
This is when things get interesting. There has been model support for the storm to get moving again and head toward Florida’s west coast on Thursday. This would obviously bring with it a variety of impacts including storm surge and coastal flooding, sustained tropical storm-force winds, nasty rain bands, and likely a tornado threat as well. This is not written in stone yet, but the potential is definitely there, and the likelihood of such an outcome is slowly increasing. You’ll want to check back with us often this week as we iron out the details.