Wednesday November 11th 2020
Monday evening the weather models had the cone of probability for Tropical System Eta heading north in the Gulf of Mexico bypassing the Florida peninsular. Yesterday the forecast path started to bend back to the east. By this morning the storm was heading into Florida north of Tampa and exiting somewhere north of Jacksonville. As of this evening the storm path is even more east to west. It is forecast to enter Florida near Cedar Key and leave in the Jacksonville area. The storm is also moving faster. It will be over by the end of the day tomorrow.
The good news is the storm is weakening fast. It was briefly a hurricane again this morning, but as it gets near the coast the winds are going down and the cohesiveness is breaking up. In my location on the east coast of Florida it is expected to only be a rain event. There may be up to three inches of rain, but no significant wind.
Eta got my focus again this morning. Listening to all of the local TV stations weather forecasts and a little more internet checking resulted in a plan to stay put. My only real option would have been to retreat back south into the area I passed through over the weekend. I’m fairly comfortable the conditions here will be wet, but not particularly dangerous. This storm has been a real obstacle to normal travel.
This afternoon I drove out to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. I didn’t stay long. The wind closer to the Atlantic coast was much stronger making conditions uncomfortable and various message boards along the way were very confusing about what was open and closed. Some of the NWR is closed due to COVID concerns and other areas will be closed at various times over the next few days for rocket launches from the space center. When you put both signs and message boards together I was confused. Checking the web site after the fact clued me in to what was really going on. I did a little exploring while out there, but I was back at my RV home after a little over an hour.