Tropical Storm Eta swirled to life in the Caribbean Sea late Saturday, tying a record as the 28th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Eta has forced forecasters for the first time to use the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet as a storm name. Eta ties the mark set in 2005.
The 2005 hurricane season also featured 28 name-eligible storms, including 15 hurricanes and five major storms, The Washington Post reported. However, only 27 names were used — because one of that season’s systems were overlooked at the time, the newspaper reported. The storm formed on Oct. 4, 2005, in the far eastern Atlantic, southwest of the Azores. It should have been designated a subtropical storm since it wasn’t fully tropical in nature, but its winds of 50-plus mph should have merited a name from the hurricane center.
In its 11 p.m. EDT advisory Saturday night, the hurricane center said Eta was packing sustained maximum winds of 40 mph and was moving west at 15 mph toward the western Caribbean Sea.
The storm was located 270 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane by Monday.
The storm currently does not appear to be a threat to the mainland United States, which is good news for the storm-weary northern Gulf Coast. The storm is expected to threaten an area near Nicaragua and Honduras next week with top winds of 90 mph, Hurricane watches were posted for parts of the Central American coast.