Tropical Storm Eta brings rain and flash flooding to Florida; could strengthen into hurricane

Tropical Storm Eta made landfall overnight near Lower Matecumbe Key and is forecast to bring strong rain to Florida before re-strengthening into a hurricane.


Tropical Storm Eta continues to lash Florida with steady rain and localized downpours as it moves away from the state’s southwest coast and over the Gulf of Mexico.

Eta made landfall late Sunday night over the Florida Keys and, as of a 7 a.m. ET government forecast, the storm has 65 mph winds and is located 80 miles west-northwest from Key West.

After it moves further west over the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, Eta is expected to strengthen again into a Category 1 hurricane.

Much of southern Florida is under a tropical storm warning as of Monday morning.

Storm tracker: Tropical Storm Eta

The possible path of Tropical Storm Eta

  •  Current location
  •  Tropical depression (38 mph and slower winds)
  •  Tropical storm (39 mph – 73 mph winds)
  •  Hurricane (74 mph – 110 mph winds)
  •  Major hurricane (111 mph and faster winds)

While the highest wind recorded since Eta arrived at the shores of the U.S. was a 71 mph gust at Carysfort Reef in the Florida Keys, precipitation was worst overnight to the north and east of the storm’s eye.

Rain bands dumped seven to 11 inches of precipitation that caused significant flash flooding around Miami and Fort Lauderdale that continues into Monday morning.

Rain is forecast for much of the state Monday, with two to four inches predicted with some localities expecting up to 18 inches, with isolated tornadoes.

Later in the week, there is more uncertainty about what track Eta will take. The current forecast meanders Eta around the Gulf through late week before potentially making a second landfall along the northern Gulf Coast of Florida late Friday into early Saturday.

The storm is part of a record-shattering 2020 hurricane season. It is the 12th named storm to make landfall on the continental United States; the previous record was nine. And Eta is Florida’s first November tropical storm landfall since 1998.


Eta carved a deadly path across Central America after it made landfall Tuesday as a Category 4 Hurricane. Nicaragua recorded 140 mph winds and structural damage to buildings.

Over 100 people are reported missing in Guatemala and 27 are confirmed dead, and local authorities in Honduras say 21 have died in that country.