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MAX DEFENDER 8 FORECAST: Tropical Storm Eta sparks evening tornado warnings

Forecast

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tornado warnings were in effect for Pinellas, Hillsborough and Manatee counties around 12pm . Intense strong winds are still pushing heavy rainfall into most counties. The system as weakened a bit thanks to wind shear and drier air aloft. Watches, Tropical Storm Warnings and Storm Surge Warnings are now in effect for coastal areas of Tampa Bay as Hurricane Eta approaches.

Rain chances increase significantly through the day as Eta gets closer. Winds may reach tropical storm strength or higher this evening and overnight. A Tornado Watch is in effect through this evening with the possibility of isolated spin up tornadoes embedded within rain bands. Watch for coastal flooding with onshore winds and inland flooding with prolonged downpours, especially south of I-4.

Highs still reach the mid 80s with high humidity today. Rainy weather continues overnight as Eta tracks toward the Big Bend of Florida. It may push onshore near or just north of Citrus County tomorrow.

After it makes landfall, it will weaken quickly during the day tomorrow, but downpours are still possible. It stays muggy, windy and warm with highs in the low 80s. The system finally heads away from us Friday, so our rain chances drop to 30%. It stays warm and muggy through the weekend.

A cold front is set to push through Monday, and that finally brings back some fall-like and cooler air.

TRACKING THE TROPICS: Other than Hurricane Eta, we also have Tropical Storm Theta which is heading toward Europe. There’s another tropical wave in the Caribbean that has an 80% chance of becoming the next tropical system. The next Greek alphabet letter is Iota.

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