Tropical Storm Theta remains a strong tropical storm in the far northeastern Atlantic, moving south of 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 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 5:00 PM AST, the center of Tropical Storm Theta was located near latitude 31.9 North, longitude 22.6 West. A turn toward the east-southeast along with a slowing of forward speed is expected tonight. A continued slow east-southeastward motion is then expected through the weekend followed 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 tonight. Weakening is expected through the weekend, and Theta should become a remnant low on Sunday.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 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
Theta appears to be holding its own still, with a large curved band feature characterizing the bulk of the deep convection, and a smaller area of convection intermittently developing over the center. Like yesterday, there has been a lack of observational data over the system’s core since last night. However, since Theta’s organization has not appeared to change much since that time, the initial intensity is being kept at a somewhat uncertain 50 kt.
Theta is forecast to change little in intensity into tonight as the cyclone continues moving in a relatively 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 is moving eastward at around 9 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 overnight 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. On the forecast track, the center of Theta is forecast to track very near the westernmost Canary Islands. However, the system is forecast to weaken to a remnant low before reaching those islands.
Forecast discussion by NHC Forecaster Latto.