Eta strengthens and tropical storm warning issued for South Florida

Ann Albers
| Fort Myers News-Press

Eta strengthened into a tropical storm as it center reforms and a tropical storm warning has been issued for South Florida and the Florida Keys according to the latest  advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The 10 a.m. ET advisory from NHC issued a Tropical Storm Warning for south Florida from Golden Beach to Chokoloskee, including Florida Bay, and for the Florida Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas.

A Tropical Storm Watch was also issued for the Florida east coast north of Sebastian Inlet to the Brevard/Volusia county line and the Florida west coast north of Bonita Beach to Englewood.

Eta re-emerged from Central America into the western Caribbean as a sprawling storm that will bring widespread rain and gusty winds to South Florida this weekend, and linger in the Gulf deep into next week.

Widespread wind impacts are also likely well away from the center. Expect tropical storm force wind gusts north to the Space Coast and coastal Southwest Florida. 

In Southeast Florida, there is potential for coastal wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph and inland tropical storm force gusts. This will be coupled with at least a couple feet of coastal surge over the entire Florida East Coast due to strong onshore flow. Tropical storm or hurricane watches are expected to be raised for South Florida overnight, as the worst conditions are expected late Sunday or early Monday.

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