Miami, Fl. (Florida News Network)-At 10:00 PM EST, the center of Tropical Storm Eta was located near latitude 23.8 North, longitude 84.5 West. Eta is about 510 miles south-southwest of Tampa, moving toward the north-northeast near 9 mph . A motion toward the north-northeast is forecast through Thursday.
On the forecast track the center of Eta will move closer to but offshore of the southwest coast of Florida on Wednesday, approach the west-central coast of Florida Wednesday night, and move inland over the northern portion of the Florida peninsula on Thursday.
Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is forecast through Wednesday, and Eta could be near hurricane strength by Wednesday morning. Gradual weakening is expected to begin Wednesday night or early Thursday.
A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the Florida west coast from Bonita Beach to the Suwannee River.
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the Florida Gulf coast from north of the Suwannee River to the Aucilla River.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure based on reconnaissance aircraft data is 992 mb 29.30 inches).
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Bonita Beach to Steinhatchee River Florida, including Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor.
Data and graphic credit: National Hurricane Center