TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season continued Friday with a new tropical storm forming in the Caribbean that’s expected to become a hurricane.
Tropical Storm Iota strengthened in the Caribbean Sea around 4 p.m. ET Friday, the National Hurricane Center says. At 4 p.m., it was about 335 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. The system was moving west-southwest at 3 mph.
The NHC says additional strengthening is likely through the weekend and the system could be near major hurricane strength when it approaches Central America.
It’s expected to move across the Caribbean and near Nicaragua and northeastern Honduras, which are still reeling from Eta, late Sunday and Monday.
No watches or warnings are currently in effect for Iota.
“It does not look like this one will be impacting us, the forecast models continue to take it through the same area through Central America and then not to the north,” Max Defender 8 Meteorologist Amanda Holly said. “Of course we’re going to continue to watch it but this one does not look like a threat, at this time, to the United States.”
Post-tropical cyclone Eta
Eta was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone after battering the Tampa Bay area Wednesday and Thursday, closing bridges, dumping water and sand into buildings and knocking out power to thousands of people.
One death in Bradenton, Florida was linked to the storm, and dozens of people were dead or missing after the storm rolled through Central America, setting off landslides.
On Friday morning, the storm was moving off the Southeast Atlantic coast and bringing heavy rains and gusty winds to the Carolinas.
At 4 a.m. ET, it had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, and was centered about 85 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina.
The storm was forecast to gradually pull away from the U.S. coast and dissipate.
Tropical Storm Theta
Theta, the 29th storm of the season, is moving east.
The storm was centered early Friday about 490 miles south-southeast of the Azores with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.
The storm is expected to turn east-southeast sometime this weekend before heading north.
TRACKING THE TROPICS:
- Tracking the Tropics: Record-breaking 2020 hurricane season drawing to a close
- Tracking the Tropics: 2 areas being monitored in Atlantic basin as end of hurricane season nears
- Tracking the Tropics: Iota weakens to depression over El Salvador
- Tracking the Tropics: Hurricane Iota roars onto Nicaragua as 2nd blow in 2 weeks
- Tracking the Tropics: ‘Catastrophic’ Hurricane Iota nears landfall in Central America near where Eta hit