Tropical Storm Theta remains a strong tropical storm in the far northeastern Atlantic, moving near the Azores Islands. This system poses no immediate threat to landmasses.
Theta pushed 2020 over 2005’s record for the most number of named tropical cyclones in Atlantic history.. This is the first time Theta has been operationally used in Atlantic history.
With Theta, 2020 has now recorded 29 tropical storm formations in the Atlantic, breaking the 2005 record of 28 tropical storms.
This tropical cyclone is not forecast to directly impact Trinidad, Tobago, or the Lesser Antilles as it moves generally eastward.
At 11:00 AM AST, the center of Tropical Storm Theta was located near latitude 31.7 North, longitude 23.8 West. Theta is moving toward the east near 12 mph (19 km/h). A turn toward the east-southeast along with a slowing of forward speed is expected later today. A continued slow east-southeastward motion is then expected through the weekend followed by a turn sharply toward the north by early next week.
Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast today. Weakening is expected through the weekend, and Theta should become a remnant low on Sunday.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 993 millibars.
Watches & Warnings
There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.
Hazards Affecting Land
There are no hazards affecting land at this time.
This system is of no direct threat to the Windward Islands, including Trinidad and Tobago.
Tropical Storm Theta Forecast Discussion
Satellite images and microwave data this morning are showing that Theta finally has a more classic appearance of a tropical storm. There is a warming of cloud tops over the center, with a curved band of convection wrapping around the eastern portion of the circulation. The scatterometer overpasses missed the core of the cyclone this morning. However, since the cloud pattern has not degraded since the previous advisory, the intensity is being held at 50 kt for this advisory.
Theta is forecast to change little in intensity today as the cyclone continues moving in a low shear zone associated with a mid- to upper-level trough axis. By tomorrow, strong northerly shear is forecast to begin impacting the system while stable air gets entrained into its circulation. As a result, Theta is expected to spin down over the weekend, degenerate to a remnant low on Sunday, and dissipate by the middle of next week.
Theta continues to move eastward at around 10 kt, steered by a mid-level ridge extending westward from West Africa to the eastern tropical Atlantic. A turn to the east-southeast along with a gradual slowing of the forward motion is expected later today and continuing through the weekend as the ridge weakens, and mid- to upper-level northerly winds impart on the cyclone. Early next week, what remains of Theta are expected to turn northward and then accelerate northeastward as a mid-latitude cyclone passes to the north of the region. The NHC forecast is little changed from the previous one and lies near the various consensus aids.
Forecast discussion by NHC Forecaster Latto.