JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Eta was barely handing onto tropical storm strength as it was moving over Jacksonville at 10 a.m., according to the National Hurricane Center.
As the NHC put the center of the storm 10 miles southwest of Jacksonville and it was moving north-northeast at 15 mph. By 1 p.m., the storm’s sustained winds were down to 40 mph as it was moving off the coast near Fernandina Beach and moving to the north-northeast at 15 mph.
The storm maintained that strength and picked up a little forward speed as it moved just off the coast of Georgia. By 4 p.m. Eta was 90 miles south-southwest of Charleston, South Carolina.
Eta, which had crossed the Florida Keys on Sunday night, made a second landfall on Florida near Cedar Key about 130 miles southwest of Jacksonville just after 4 a.m. Wednesday.
Greater Jacksonville was forecast to see gusts up to 40 mph and bands of tropical rain, but winds nor rainfall didn’t reach near those totals for most of the area. Most of the tropical storm warnings for Northeast Florida were dropped as the storm passed over the metro area at about 11 a.m.
Meteorologist Richard Nunn said gusts above 20 mph were recorded in Gainesville and Green Cove Springs during the morning, but wind speeds appear to be diminishing. The highest winds were in coastal areas, but those were moving offshore.
Swells generated by Eta are expected to affect most of the Southeast Atlantic coast, likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
As the afternoon rolls on, sunshine will break through the heavy cloud cover. There could be a few intense downpours just before skies lear out.
Thursday was a super tropical feeling day with high humidity, gusty winds will be shifting around from southeast to south to northwest through the lunch hour, as Eta passes Jacksonville. Highs will be in the low 80s.
Winds will diminish throughout the day.
The weekend is looking summer-like with partly cloudy skies and highs well into the 80s. Surf will be fading but a small groundswell will still be pumping Saturday morning.