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Eta, Theta, another tropical wave develops: 2020 hurricane season just won't quit

Cheryl McCloud
Tallahassee Democrat

The National Hurricane Center is tracking three systems in the Atlantic basin: Tropical Storm Eta, Tropical Storm Theta and a tropical wave in the Caribbean that may develop into a tropical depression by the weekend.

A Tropical Storm Warning and Storm Surge Watch were issued for portions of the west coast of Florida on Tuesday night as Eta moves in a northeastern motion toward the state, the National Hurricane Center said.

Tropical Storm Theta formed Monday night over the northeast Atlantic as the record-breaking 29th named storm of the 2020 hurricane season, according to the Hurricane Center.

Never-ending hurricane season :When will this relentless Atlantic hurricane season finally end? Will Theta follow Eta?

Here's the latest update from the NHC as of 10 p.m. CT/9 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Nov. 10: 

Disturbance 1 has an 80% chance of formation this week as Tropical Storm Eta and Subtropical Storm Theta linger in the tropics at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020.

What's out there and where are they?

Tropical Storm Eta: Eta is moving north-northeast at 9 mph in the Gulf of Mexico as a strong tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Theta formed in the eastern Atlantic Monday night and continues moving toward the east. The system transitioned from a subtropical storm to a tropical cyclone on Tuesday night and is maintaining its intensity as it moves east.

Disturbance 1: A tropical wave located over the eastern Caribbean Sea is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms. The wave is expected to move westward.

How likely are they to strengthen?

1. Tropical Storm Eta: Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph, with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or two, followed by weakening likely starting on Thursday.

Tropical Storm Eta's probable path as of 10 p.m. ET Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020.

2.  Tropical Storm Theta: Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph, with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next couple of days. Some slow weakening is expected by later this week.

3.  Disturbance 1: A tropical depression is likely to form late this week or this weekend when the wave reaches the central or western Caribbean Sea.

  • Formation chance through 48 hours: 20% (was 0%)
  • Formation chance through 5 days: 80% (was 70%)

Details on Tropical Storm Eta

In the path:Tropical Storm Eta strengthens in Gulf; Northwest Florida in projected path

Tropical Storm Eta:Eta bringing strong winds, heavy rains to Southwest Florida

  • Location: about 120 miles west-southwest of the Dry Tortugas and about 315 miles south-southwest of Tampa (was 110 miles north of the western tip of Cuba)
  • Maximum sustained winds: 65 mph 
  • Present movement: north-northeast at 9 mph

Details on Tropical Storm Theta

  • Location: about 770 miles southwest of the Azores (was 795 miles)
  • Maximum sustained winds: 70 mph 
  • Present movement: east-northeast at 12 mph (was 14 mph)
Tropical Storm Theta's probable path as of 3 a.m. GMT Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020.

Who is likely to be impacted?

Tropical Storm Eta: A motion toward the north-northeast is forecast through Thursday. On the forecast track the center of Eta will move closer to but offshore of the southwest coast of Florida on Wednesday, approach the west-central coast of Florida Wednesday night, and move inland over the northern portion of the Florida peninsula on Thursday.

In South Florida, an additional 1 to 2 inches of rain, with isolated maximum storm total accumulations of 20 inches, are possible. In West Florida into the eastern Florida Panhandle and portions of North Florida, 1 to 3 inches of rainfall is expected, with isolated totals of 5 inches.

Swells generated by Eta are expected to affect southern and western Florida and the Florida Keys during the next day or so.

Tropical Storm Theta: There are no threats to land at this time.

Disturbance 1: It's still too early at this time to determine whether Florida will feel the impact from the tropical wave in the Caribbean. Regardless of development, the system is expected to bring heavy rainfall along with possible flash flooding to the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and portions of Hispaniola this week.

Forecasters advise all residents to stay informed and be prepared during this very active hurricane season.

Tracking the tropics in real time:

These graphics, which update automatically, show you activity in the tropics in real time:

Latest images from National Hurricane Center:

USAT storm tracker:

What's next?

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