Tropical Depression in Southern Caribbean Could Become Hurricane by Next Week 

As the remnants of Hurricane Eta disappear in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, meteorologists say a tropical depression in the southern Caribbean Sea is likely to strengthen into 2020’s 30th named storm.The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tropical Depression 31 was about 500 kilometers south-southeast of Jamaica and was slowly moving to the west-southwest. Forecasters said conditions were right for the system to gradually intensify into Tropical Storm Iota.It was expected to begin moving west-northwest by Saturday and move across the central Caribbean. It could approach the coastlines of Nicaragua and northeast Honduras by late Sunday, by which time it could be a major hurricane.FILE – A rescue dog and his handler search for survivors after a massive, rain-fueled landslide in the village of Queja, Guatemala, Nov. 7, 2020, in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Eta.That is very bad news for the Central American region, which is still trying to recover from powerful Hurricane Eta that brought disastrous flooding and landslides to Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala last week.The storm, which existed for more than 10 days, moved offshore late last week, restrengthened as it crossed the Caribbean, and came ashore twice in the U.S. state of Florida — once in the southern part of the state and, earlier this week, near Tampa on the Gulf Coast — bringing more than 40 centimeters of rain and life-threatening floods.The storm moved east across Florida and north up the U.S. East Coast, where it brought heavy rains and flooding to North Carolina and southern Virginia before moving out to sea.Meanwhile, the season’s 29th named storm, Tropical Storm Theta, continued to spin in the far eastern Atlantic. At last report it had maximum sustained winds of 95 kph, but it posed no threat to land.Theta broke the record for the most named storms in a season, set in 2005.

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