The storm is still quite far away, only on the NE coast of Cuba, having crossed the island from west to east, after wandering around the Caribbean for days and swamping parts of Central America. It is not expected to strengthen into a hurricane until later tonight... just about when it approaches the Florida Keys after changing direction back westward.
It is not expected to make landfall in peninsular Florida (yet) and it might just scoot by under the Keys as it heads into the Gulf of Mexico. That is the best case scenario for folks around here, but the downside is that we will be on the infamous "dirty side" of the storm no matter where exactly the eye tracks.
Northern hemisphere "cyclones" rotate counter-clockwise, and the NE corner is where the strongest winds usually reside. As it passes below us, we will experience that NE quadrant and will get winds from the east, meaning off the Atlantic, unblocked, and pushing in storm surge.
Once the storm passes below on its westward track it is expected to move into the Gulf, stall, then change course and move eastward again back over Florida. Unbelievable!
Looking for a silver lining, Florida Bay (between the Keys and the lower coast of mainland Florida where the famous Florida Keys tarpon fishing takes place), has been suffering from excessive salinity for the last few years. This summer's abnormally high rainfall was expected to help alleviate some of that problem. The huge rainfall amounts from Eta, and the strong eastward winds, should be even more helpful.
The downside, for me personally, is I expect all of the back-country creeks that I canoe to access almost pristine fishing areas will, once again, become impassable. It has taken three years of patience and hard work to open some of those routes. The hurricane in 2017 closed them, and as they became somewhat open, the large trees that were victims of that storm began to crumble after just about any kind of winds. I expect this storm will, once again, make them impassable. I might be getting too old for this crap.
I might have to surrender and become a boater with all the other fools.
Well... I better get this uplaoded... I can hear powerlines sparking in the distance...
Please forgive my poor mood of late...