The Atlantic currently has two simultaneous named storms — Tropical Storm Eta and Subtropical Storm Theta. This is the latest in the calendar year that this has happened since 1887, during Grover Cleveland’s first term as president. One of these storms could hit the U.S. coast this weekend.
Tropical Storm Eta
Eta became a tropical storm on Oct. 31, devastating parts of Central America as a Category 4 hurricane four days later with 140-plus mph winds and massive flooding. After moving across rough terrain, Eta weakened back to a tropical storm last Wednesday. As of 2 p.m. EST Tuesday, Eta was still a tropical storm with sustained winds of 60 mph and is centered about 70 miles northwest of the western tip of Cuba.
Flooding is possible in parts of South Florida through Wednesday, but Eta should lose a lot more steam as it slowly approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast. This storm won’t likely be a major threat to freight flows on the ground or in the air. Restrictions in vessel movements continue at the ports of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Manatee and Ft. Myers, according to the Coast Guard.
Subtropical Storm Theta
Theta is in the middle of the Atlantic, about 850 miles southwest of the Azores with sustained winds of 70 mph. Theta is heading east and is not an immediate threat to any land masses, but container ships in the region will have to steer around the storm.
The 2020 season now has a record 29 named storms, breaking the record of 28 set in 2005. The season officially ends on Nov. 30, but named storms have formed as late as December, lasting into the following January.