Nov. 5 (UPI) — Tropical Storm Eta has weakened to a tropical despair, however forecasters say it is going to regain power as soon as it reaches the Gulf of Mexico and strikes towards the southeastern United States.

The storm was a Class four hurricane when it arrived in Nicaragua on Wednesday, however weakened because it moved farther over land.

Eta continues to be producing heavy rain and life-threatening flooding in Honduras, Nicaragua and Belize.

In its three p.m. CST replace Thursday, the Nationwide Hurricane Middle stated Eta was located about 60 miles south of Ceiba, Honduras, and had most sustained winds of 35 mph. It was shifting west-northwest at eight mph.

Eta would develop into a tropical storm once more as soon as it reaches most sustained winds of 39 mph.

From Central America, the storm is anticipated to strengthen and chart a wobbly course that may take it over Cuba. It might threaten Florida early subsequent week.

Eta might attain hurricane pressure once more on its means towards Cuba and, at this level, AccuWeather meteorologists count on it to method southern Florida as a tropical storm.

“It seems that Eta won’t simply wither away over Central America this week as some a part of the diminishing storm’s circulation is prone to survive and re-enter the western Caribbean, the place the method of reorganizing and restrengthening is sure to happen,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Mike Doll stated.

Florida has largely dodged impacts thus far in a record-setting Atlantic hurricane season, which has spawned 28 named methods.

No landfalls have occurred within the state but this season, however forecasters say the area will not be out of the woods. Eta might pose a big risk to lives and property, and on the very least, an interruption in day by day actions and journey late this weekend and early subsequent week.

A tropical storm watch is in impact for the Cayman Islands, the hurricane middle stated Thursday.

The water over the northwestern Caribbean is a few of the warmest of your complete Atlantic basin and lots heat sufficient to nurture a tropical system. Eta is forecast to spend about 36 hours over the nice and cozy waters of the northwestern Caribbean, which is sufficient to enable for strengthening.

Situations are forecast to deteriorate over western Cuba, particularly alongside the southern coast throughout Saturday afternoon and night. Rounds of heavy rain, robust winds and surf are anticipated. The chance of flash flooding will enhance, as will the potential for mudslides within the mountainous terrain.

In Havana, on the north aspect of Cuba, northerly winds are prone to create overwash that might result in coastal flooding in and across the metropolis.

The storm might have one other alternative to strengthen as soon as it emerges over the Florida Straits to the north of Cuba in the course of the day Sunday. Right now, forecasters count on Eta to method the Florida Keys and South Florida on Sunday evening.

Impacts in South Florida and the Florida Keys late this weekend to early subsequent week will rely on storm’s precise observe and velocity after its encounter with Cuba. The magnitude of wind, rain and storm surge anticipated within the Sunshine State might change over time as particulars on Eta’s erratic path and power develop into extra clear.

Supplied that Eta strikes Cuba as a hurricane and maintains some power whereas crossing Cuba on Saturday evening, a possible exists for hurricane-force wind gusts of 74 mph or higher in a part of the Florida Keys and the southern a part of the Florida Peninsula on Sunday.

Forecasters stated the more than likely state of affairs is for Eta to emerge into the Gulf of Mexico after putting southern Florida, however there’s the potential that the storm will linger close to Cuba and Florida as an alternative, or it might probably even transfer north over the Bahamas.

Eta has made historical past and matched the power of the strongest storm of the tumultuous 2020 hurricane season — Hurricane Laura — when its winds peaked at 150 mph earlier this week.

Eta joined the ranks of eight different tropical methods within the Atlantic this season and underwent speedy strengthening, which is outlined by a tropical system that experiences a rise its most sustained winds by 35 mph inside 24 hours.