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Yet Another Tropical Storm Has Formed In The Caribbean. Will It Be The Last In 2020?

What will become Tropical Storm Iota is following the same early path as Eta.

The latest storm in what has been an historic 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has formed in the central Caribbean and is now the 30th named system this year.

Tropical Storm Iota is eerily following the same early track as Tropical Storm Eta.

The National Hurricane Center has determined the system strengthened in a tropical storm Friday afternoon with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. It i located about 335 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and crawling to the west-southwest at 3 mph – toward Nicaragua and Honduras, just as Eta did almost two weeks ago.

Iota could potentially become a powerful Category 3 hurricane as it reaches the Central America coastline.

Why Tropical Storm Eta Caught Florida's Gulf Coast Off-Guard
Meteorologists say it's harder to track tropical storms than major hurricanes because other forces in the atmosphere can easily change their paths. That's what happened with Eta this week.
Eta satellite image

Much like Eta, forecasters say Iota could produce a deluge of 20-30 inches of rain across northern Nicaragua and Honduras.

Eta managed to do an about-face and re-emerge in the Caribbean before moving into the Gulf of Mexico and, eventually, making landfall near Cedar Key early Thursday morning.

Forecasters say conditions are favorable for Iota to reach Category 3 strength by Monday, with projected maximum sustained winds of 120 mph.

Will there be a repeat of Eta’s track? Not likely, forecasters say, as it is projected to make landfall on Tuesday and move inland as a post-tropical remnant low.

What also remains to be seen is whether Iota will be the last named storm we will see this year. As of yet, the only other storm on the hurricane center’s radar is Tropical Storm Theta, which remains well out in the open Atlantic and is no threat to land.

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