Tropical depression may strengthen into Hurricane Iota: forecasters

2020 just keeps on proving that when it rains, it pours.

Forecasters have their eye on another hurricane forming in the Caribbean — as Central America and the US Gulf Coast is still reeling from Tropical Storm Eta amid this year’s record-breaking storm season.

The National Hurricane Center expects Tropical Depression 31 to strengthen before making landfall as a hurricane in Central America early next week.

Once the depression’s winds reach speeds of 39 mph it will be named Tropical Storm Iota — and become the 30th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

The system is forecast to unleash dangerous winds and storm surge to parts of Nicaragua and Honduras Sunday night, the Hurricane Centre said. Life-threatening flash flooding warnings are also in place across parts of Haiti and Jamaica through Wednesday.

The storm would worsen conditions in Central America and Mexico, which are still recovering from Eta’s deadly blow last week — when it struck as a Category 4 hurricane and killed at least 120 people, with scores more missing.

Eta then made landfall as a tropical storm in Florida twice, packing winds of 50 mph.

At 10 a.m. on Friday, Tropical Depression 31 was about 300 miles south of Kingston, Jamaica with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, according to forecasters.

With more than two weeks left to go in this year’s hurricane season, it has already exceeded predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and broken records.

Tropical Storm Iota is expected to form in the Caribbean.
National Hurricane Center

NOAA forecasters expected to see 25 storms this season, a number which was toppled in mid-October.

Iota would be the 30th named storm of the season, which marks only the second time weather officials turned to the Greek alphabet for names after plowing through the English alphabet.

The previous record of 28 named storms was set in 2005.

Hurricane season ends on November 30th.

With Post wires

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