Heavy rainfall from the system may lead to flash flooding and river flooding for portions of Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Central America.
“A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area,” according to the NHC.
“A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 6 to 9 feet above normal tide levels in areas of onshore winds along the coast of Nicaragua within the hurricane warning area, and 3 to 5 feet above normal tide levels along the coast of Honduras within the tropical storm warning area,” it said. “Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.”
Eta’s track and intensity after Thursday remains uncertain and will be closely monitored.
This is the first time the name Eta has ever been used for a storm.
Storms are named in alphabetical order, excluding names starting with the letters Q, U, X, Y or Z. In the event that a season is exceptionally busy and there are more than 21 named storms in a season the Greek alphabet is used.
Though 2005 had the same amount of named storms, that year did not reach the name Eta because the NHC increased the total for the season to 28 after the season ended when it was decided that a storm should have been named but was not, according to CNN meteorologist Tyler Maudlin. So, Eta was never technically declared that season.
CNN’s Pedram Javaheri and Virginia Langmaid contributed to this report.