Tropical Storm Theta is barely hanging on as a tropical cyclone in the far northeastern Atlantic. This system poses no immediate threat to landmasses and is forecast to become a remnant low later tonight into tomorrow and dissipate on Monday.
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 impact Trinidad, Tobago, or the Lesser Antilles.
At 5:00 PM AST, the center of Tropical Storm Theta was located near latitude 31.7 North, longitude 19.2 West. Theta is moving toward the east near 6 mph (9 km/h), and this general motion with a gradual decrease in forward speed is expected through at least tonight. A turn to the northeast is forecast to occur by late Sunday, and Theta is expected to accelerate to the northeast on Monday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Weakening is expected over the next few days, and Theta is forecast to become a remnant low by Sunday morning and dissipate early next week.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1000 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
A persistent band of deep convection to the southeast of Theta’s center continues to keep it classifiable as a tropical cyclone, with the edge of the convection at one point today reaching within 60 n mi of the center of the cyclone. Over the past couple of hours this convection has become farther displaced from Theta’s center, as the system gets blasted by over 40 kt of northerly shear. Since the cyclone’s appearance has changed little today, the initial intensity is being held at 35 kt based off data from an ASCAT-A overpass this morning. Very strong shear and dry air entrainment should cause the deep convection to weaken and become even farther displaced from the center tonight, with Theta anticipated to degenerate into a remnant low by 12 h. The cyclone should also weaken under this regime, and open into a trough by 72 h. The latest NHC intensity forecast is unchanged from the previous one, and is in good agreement with the intensity guidance.
Theta continues moving just south of due east, but now at a slower pace of around 5 kt. A mid-level ridge located to the south of Theta is weakening, which will result in a continued slow east-southeastward motion through tonight. As Theta becomes a shallow system on Sunday, the low-level flow is forecast to become southwesterly, and this flow is expected to increase on Monday ahead of an approaching cold front. This will cause Theta to turn to the northeast by late Sunday and accelerate until it dissipates in a few days. The latest NHC track forecast is similar to the previous one and lies near the track consensus models.
Forecast discussion by NHC Forecaster Latto.