Hurricane warnings posted in Central America as Tropical Storm Eta strengthens

Eta is the 28th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

Tropical Storm Eta formed overnight, strengthened throughout Sunday and is now moving toward Nicaragua, according to the latest forecast Sunday evening.

The storm's center is about 200 miles east of the Nicaraguan coast. It is generating sustained winds of up to 70 mph, forecasters said, and is moving west at 13 mph.

Eta will continue to strengthen over the next 36 hours and will likely reach hurricane strength Sunday night.

Hurricane warnings have been issued for parts of Honduras and Nicaragua.

Scientists have long warned that increasing ocean temperatures and other effects of climate change have caused the rise of dangerous storms.

The current forecast track has Eta reaching Nicaragua and Southern Honduras by Tuesday evening as a strong Category 2 hurricane.

It will weaken quickly after landfall, but also slow down, which could lead to extreme rainfall. Parts of Nicaragua and Honduras can expect one or two feet of rain. Other parts of the countries could see totals of up to 30 inches of rain, which could result in mudslides, landslides and life-threatening flash flooding.

In the second half of the week, Eta is expected to spread its path and grow in intensity.

Eric Blake, the senior hurricane Scientist at the National Hurricane Center, said Eta has the potential to cause the worst rainfall threat in Nicaragua and Honduras since Hurricane Mitch -- which caused disaster in 1998 and resulted in 11,000 fatalities.

Experts do not expect Eta to be as strong as Hurricane Mitch, but 30 inches of rain could cause a lot of damage in this Central America due to terrain and economic factors.

The spaghetti forecast model plots show the path's uncertainty and a number of these different model runs are showing some type of northward turn later this week.

The American GFS model, which has been doing quite well with tropical cyclones this year, is also showing a northward turn.

It's too early to say whether or not Eta could affect the United States, but the risk of it moving towards the country later this week and into early next week continues to increase gradually.

Meanwhile, an Alberta clipper is moving just north of the Great Lakes this morning.

Behind it, cold air is rushing into the upper Midwest with wind chills in the teens from Fargo to Green Bay.

According to current weather data, gusts of up to 50 mph could hit parts of the upper Midwest Sunday. This could down trees and power lines in some spots and bring cold weather to the area.

By Sunday night, the clipper will impact parts of the Northeast with some rain for the I-95 corridor and a sharp drop in temperature.

Wind chills into parts of the Appalachians and eastern Ohio will be dropping into the 20s and possibly teens by the night.

Additionally, this cold air moving over the relatively warm Great Lakes will bring some lake effect snow to the interior northeast.

Snowfall accumulations over 3 inches could affect some of the snow-prone spots around the Great Lakes, and snow could reach parts of interior New York and Pennsylvania, which could quickly reduce visibility on roadways.

Monday will be a very cold day for parts of the Northeast with wind chills in the 20s and teens for a large part of the region.

Still, there is a pattern change coming and milder weather will likely arrive later in the week.

No dangerous weather is expected to reach the U.S. during the week of Election Day.

On Election Day itself, Americans will see sunshine nearly coast to coast, with mild temperatures from the Southwest to the upper Midwest.

Still, a tropical system may make a turn northward near Central America and could quickly become a weather headline for the U.S. in the days after the election.

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