Travel Alert November 2020: After Third Landfall, Where Tropical Storm Eta Goes Next?

After the third landfall of Tropical Storm Eta occurred just southwest of Islamorada late last night, Sunday, November 8, 2020 — which was only the first landfall of a named tropical system in the state of Florida in 2020 — and with the storm back out over the open warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where is the next landfall forecast to occur?

Travel Alert November 2020: After Third Landfall, Where Tropical Storm Eta Goes Next?

Tropical Storm Eta

Source: National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States.

Maximum sustained winds of Tropical Storm Eta — which is currently centered approximately 135 miles west southwest of the Dry Tortugas in Florida and is moving southwest at 16 miles per hour — are 50 miles per hour, which means that this storm is officially classified as a tropical storm; and despite earlier reports, it is once again not expected to strengthen again to become a hurricane for the remainder of its existence due to dryer air within its core.

Although Cuba is not expecting another direct landfall from this storm, western portions of the country will feel some of its effects.

The fourth landfall of Tropical Storm Eta is expected to occur along what is known as the Big Bend area of Florida as early as the morning of Saturday, November 9, 2020 — but it is expected to remain as a tropical storm prior to landfall.

A tropical storm watch is currently in effect for the provinces of La Habana, Artemisa, Mayabeque, Pinar del Rio, and the Isle of Youth in Cuba.

The tropical storm did affect southern Florida…

The second landfall of Tropical Storm Eta occurred along the south central coast of Cuba earlier this morning, Sunday, November 8, 2020; whereas the first landfall of this tropical system occurred as a major Category 4 hurricane shortly after noon on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 in Bilwi in Puerto Cabezas, which is located on the northeastern coast of Nicaragua before moving northwest into Honduras towards Guatemala and Belize, leaving behind widespread destruction to infrastructure.

At least 150 people died from what was Hurricane Eta when it was a Category 4 hurricane; and at least 100 people are still missing in Central America, with hundreds more evacuated from their homes. Approximately 150 houses in Guatemala were buried.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to or from Honduras and southern Florida over the next few days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this tropical weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here are nine airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this tropical weather system:

  • American Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Key West, Miami, and West Palm Beach for Sunday, November 8, 2020 through Monday, November 9, 2020; and Thursday, November 12, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas for Monday, November 9, 2020; and Thursday, November 12, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • San Pedro Sula for Friday, November 6, 2020 through Thursday, November 12, 2020; and Tuesday, November 17, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Delta Air Lines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Key West, Miami, and West Palm Beach for Sunday, November 8, 2020 through Monday, November 9, 2020; and Thursday, November 12, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • San Pedro Sula for Thursday, November 5, 2020 through Thursday, November 12, 2020; and Tuesday, November 17, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued travel alerts for Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Key West, Miami, and West Palm Beach for Sunday, November 8, 2020 through Tuesday, November 10, 2020; and Saturday, November 14, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Southwest Airlines has issued travel alerts for Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, and West Palm Beach for Sunday, November 8, 2020 through Monday, November 9, 2020; and Monday, November 23, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • JetBlue Airways has issued travel alerts for Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, and Nassau for Sunday, November 8, 2020 through Monday, November 9, 2020; and Friday, November 13, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Frontier Airlines has issued travel alerts for Fort Myers, Miami, and West Palm Beach for Sunday, November 8, 2020 through Monday, November 9, 2020; and Monday, November 23, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Spirit Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers for Sunday, November 8, 2020 through Monday, November 9, 2020; and Thursday, November 12, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • San Pedro Sula for Thursday, November 5, 2020 through Friday, November 13, 2020; and Friday, November 20, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Sun Country Airlines has issued a travel alert for Fort Myers for Monday, November 9, 2020; and Friday, November 13, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Air Canada has issued travel alerts for Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers for Monday, November 9, 2020.

Summary

The year 2005 was the most active year in recorded history in terms of 28 total named tropical systems, with Tropical Storm Zeta as the last storm of that season. Only one more named storm is needed for the year 2020 to break that record — and that may possibly occur later this week.

I personally believe that the National Weather Service of the United States and other official weather authorities should consider using the letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z to name tropical systems — especially with the inclusion of names which are not common in the United States. Quincy, Ursula, Xavier, Yvonne, and Zachary all come immediately to my mind to name storms which usually do not require those letters during a typical season. Only once the entire alphabet has been exhausted should the characters of the Greek alphabet be used…

…and ironically, the Greek alphabet uses a name which begins with the letter Z. Why not use one of the aforementioned names which begin with the letter Z?

As far as I know, the name of a tropical system after a character of the Greek alphabet has never been retired. What happens if a storm is strong enough to warrant the name being retired and it is named after a character of the Greek alphabet?

Anyway, be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

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