The National Hurricane Center in Miami predicted Eta would slog ashore on the state’s west coast on Thursday and then move northeast across as it loses strength. Eta briefly gained hurricane strength on Wednesday but later weakened to tropical storm status with maximum winds of 70 mph.
There were no immediate reports of any injuries, serious damage or flooding in the Tampa Bay area as the storm skirted past that region on Wednesday afternoon.
A camera in the city of Venice, around 70 miles south of Tampa, is streaming the view out to the ocean as Eta approaches for a fourth landfall.
The storm meandered in the Gulf of Mexico after crossing southern Florida on Sunday.
Additional reporting by agencies