NOAA Hurricane Hunter Aircraft Investigating Eta

Miami, Fl. (Florida News Network) At 700 PM EST, the center of Tropical Storm Eta was located by NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 23.5 North, longitude 84.7 West.

Eta is moving toward the north near 7 mph. A motion toward the north or north-northeast is forecast through Wednesday night, followed by a turn toward the northeast on Thursday. On the forecast track the center of Eta will move parallel to but offshore of the Florida west coast on Wednesday night and Thursday and move near or over Apalachee Bay Thursday night and Friday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast through Thursday morning, and Eta could be near hurricane strength by Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Gradual weakening is expected to begin Thursday afternoon or evening.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center.

Tropical storm conditions are possible in the Tropical Storm Watch area along the Florida west coast by Thursday.

The latest minimum central pressure reported by a NOAA reconnaissance aircraft is 989 mb (29.20 inches).

Data and graphic credit: National Hurricane Center