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Tropical Storm Eta Could Threaten South Florida By This Weekend

After hammering Nicaragua and Honduras as a powerful Category 4 storm, Tropical Storm Eta appears poised to make a U-turn and threaten Florida this weekend.

Eta made landfall Tuesday morning and has weakened to a tropical storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of Wednesday morning, Eta was located about 90 miles off the coast of Nicaragua and maintained maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.

It is moving west at 8 mph, but forecasters say Eta will switch course and begin moving west-northwest and then turn to the north Thursday night and Friday.

On that path, it will emerge over the northwestern Caribbean on Friday.

Dr. Athena Masson, a meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network, says Eta is expected to possibly re-strengthen, posing a threat to Cuba and South Florida late this weekend.

“While it is too soon to determine the exact timing, magnitude and location of possible impacts, odds are increasing that heavy rain and possible tropical storm-force winds will spread over parts of Cuba and approach South Florida this weekend,” Masson said. “Southeast Florida has experienced a wet autumn so far, so additional rainfall is likely to exacerbate the flood threat.”

The National Hurricane Center’s cone has the center of Eta somewhere between the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the northwest Bahamas by Monday.

Information from the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network was used in this report.

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