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As Eta Races Away, Clearing Skies And An Eventual Cold Front For Tampa Bay Area

Eta satellite image - storm off the Carolinas
A day after making landfall in Florida, Eta is moving away from the U.S. coast, leaving clearing skies in its wake.

Eta is now a post-tropical cyclone moving away from the Carolinas and into the Atlantic. What's left for Tampa Bay is warmer-than-normal temperatures through the weekend.

What was an unpredictable Tropical Storm Eta has departed Florida and moved into the mid-Atlantic states, leaving pleasant – but warmer than normal – temperatures across the greater Tampa Bay region.

As of early Friday morning, forecasters with the National Hurricane Center have classified Eta as a post-tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

The storm was located about 85 miles southeast of Wilmington, N.C., and racing to the east-northeast – and pulling away from the southeast U.S. coast -- at 21 mph.

Eta could strengthen before being absorbed by a larger non-tropical cyclone on Saturday, forecasters said.

The storm caused widespread flooding in low-lying areas and around some rivers, across the greater Tampa Bay region after making landfall in Cedar Key early Thursday morning.

As the storm made its way across the state, WMFE reports minimal damage across Lake, Marion and Sumter counties. It was limited to a few thousand power outages due to fallen trees.

Now that Eta has departed, it is ushering in fair weather with above-average temperatures in the mid-80s until early next week, according to the National Weather Service. A cold front early next week will keep highs in the upper 70s, which is normal for this time of year.

It could also put a near-wrap on this record hurricane season, which has set a record with 29 named storms. One more system in the Caribbean still has a 90% chance of developing into Tropical Storm Iota as it follows Eta’s path toward Nicaragua and Honduras, while Tropical Storm Theta is lingering out in the open Atlantic and is no threat to the U.S.

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