Eta becomes rare November hurricane

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Eta developed thunderstorm action near its center of circulation last night, which allowed some intensification of the storm overnight. The National Hurricane Center reports Eta is now a category one hurricane with winds of 75 mph and a pressure of 983 mb.

November hurricanes are not unprecedented, but are rare in the Gulf of Mexico. If they do form, they mostly follow the track of Eta, moving northward from the Caribbean and turning northeast towards Florida. This is due to troughs and cold fronts, which are usually moving through the southeastern U.S. this time of year. Hurricane Kate took a similar track to Eta in 1985 and was the last hurricane to make a Florida landfall in November. Since 1851, only five hurricanes have made landfall in the United States, three of which occurred in the state of Florida. Eta, however, is not expected to be a hurricane when it makes landfall across the Sunshine state. One thing that helped Eta was an expansive ridge of high pressure that has set up across the eastern U.S., allowing a brief window of low wind shear enabling Eta to achieve hurricane status. Landfall is expected across the Big Bend of Florida Thursday afternoon.

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