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Eta update:

It's finally making landfall now in Nicaragua as a Cat 4 with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph.


I have included the new Euro ensembles and early 18Z track guidance.


Of note, the HWRF strengthens it as it gets close to southern Florida and makes it a hurricane, but that is from from certain.


The following is from the National Hurricane Center and is a great explanation of the current and future situation:


After meandering just offshore of the coast of northeastern Nicaragua this morning, the eye of Eta began moving westward and is currently making landfall along the coast of Nicaragua about 15 n mi south of Puerto Cabezas.  Visible satellite imagery has shown that the eye of Eta became larger as the hurricane completed an eyewall replacement.  A blend of the earlier aircraft data and recent subjective and objective satellite intensity estimates yields an initial intensity of 120 kt. Eta remains an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane, and is likely producing a very high storm surge and catastrophic damage. In addition, the slow-moving system is likely to produce torrential rains and inland flooding that will continue to be an extremely serious threat over the next couple of days.

Once the eyewall is fully onshore, rapid weakening should begin, and Eta is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm by early Wednesday, and become a tropical depression Wednesday night. Although it appears unlikely that the surface circulation will remain intact while Eta moves over Central America, most of the global model guidance indicates that the low-level vorticity center will emerge over the northwestern Caribbean Sea within 60-72 hours. At that time, the system is forecast to interact with an upper-level trough over the northern Gulf of Mexico, and re-development later in the period appears likely with some 
strengthening by days 4 and 5.  Due the interaction with the upper-level trough, the system is likely to have a more hybrid or subtropical structure late in the period. 

Eta appears to be moving westward at about 4 kt.  A ridge to the north of the hurricane should steer the system westward to west-northwestward at a faster forward speed over the next couple of days.  By late in the week, Eta or its remnants should turn northward, and then northeastward around the southeastern portion of the aforementioned trough.  Although the 12z GFS and ECMWF models are in general agreement on the overall forecast scenario, there are large differences in how fast Eta accelerates northeastward.  The NHC track forecast is near the HFIP corrected consensus model which lies between the faster GFS and slower ECMWF solutions. There is still significant spread among the various 
global models and the ensembles, which results in a higher than 
normal level of uncertainty regarding the details of the track and 
intensity forecast later in the period.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  03/2100Z 13.8N  83.5W  120 KT 140 MPH
 12H  04/0600Z 13.8N  84.2W   75 KT  85 MPH...INLAND
 24H  04/1800Z 14.1N  85.5W   40 KT  45 MPH...INLAND
 36H  05/0600Z 14.7N  87.2W   25 KT  30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
 48H  05/1800Z 15.4N  88.5W   25 KT  30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
 60H  06/0600Z 16.3N  88.5W   25 KT  30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
 72H  06/1800Z 17.0N  87.7W   30 KT  35 MPH...OVER WATER
 96H  07/1800Z 20.0N  83.5W   40 KT  45 MPH
120H  08/1800Z 24.0N  80.5W   45 KT  50 MPH










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