Tropical Storm Eta tuned back toward Florida on Tuesday evening. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Eta was located at latitude 23.8°N and longitude 84.5°W which put it about 120 miles (195 km) west-northwest of the Dry Tortugas. Eta was moving toward the north- northeast at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 992 mb.
A Tropical Storm Warning was issued for the portion of the coast from Bonita Beach to the Suwannee River, Florida. The Warning included Tampa and St. Petersburg. A Tropical Storm Warning was also in effect for the Dry Tortugas. A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from the Suwannee River to the Aucilla River, Florida.
The circulation around Tropical Storm Eta exhibited more organization on Tuesday evening. The inner end of a rainband wrapped around the the eastern and northern side of the the center of circulation. There were occasional indications that an eye could be forming at the center of Eta. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of Tropical Storm Eta. There were more thunderstorms in the bands in the northeastern half of Eta. Bands in the southwestern half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 70 miles (110 km) from the center of circulation.
Tropical Storm Eta will move through an environment more favorable for intensification on Wednesday. Eta will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C. An upper level trough over the central U.S. will produce southwesterly winds which blow toward the top of Eta’s circulation on Wednesday. Those winds will cause vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent Eta from getting stronger. Tropical Storm Eta could strengthen back into a hurricane on Wednesday. The upper level trough will move closer to Eta on Thursday and the wind shear will increase. The shear could get strong enough to cause Eta to weaken.
The upper level trough will steer Tropical Storm Eta toward the north-northeast during the next 24 to 48 hours. On its anticipated track the center of Eta will pass west of the Florida Keys on Wednesday. The center of Tropical Storm Eta could approach Tampa on Thursday morning. Eta could be near hurricane strength when it passes near Tampa. Southwesterly winds blowing around the east side of Tropical Storm Eta could push water into Tampa Bay. Eta could cause a storm surge of up to 7 feet (2 meters).
Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Subtropical Storm Theta nade a transition to a strong tropical storm. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Theta was located at latitude 29.4°N and longitude 35.5°W which put it about 770 miles (1235 km) southwest of the Azores. Theta was moving toward the east-northeast at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 989 mb.