New Caribbean storm takes 2020's hurricane season into uncharted territory

Digital Writers
·1 min read
New Caribbean storm takes 2020's hurricane season into uncharted territory
New Caribbean storm takes 2020's hurricane season into uncharted territory
New Caribbean storm takes 2020's hurricane season into uncharted territory
New Caribbean storm takes 2020's hurricane season into uncharted territory

By the standards of 2020's hyperactive Atlantic hurricane season, the unassuming tropical depression that popped into being in the Caribbean east of Central America Saturday doesn't seem too remarkable.

Going by the name of Tropical Depression 29 (TD29), on Saturday evening it boasted sustained winds of only 55 km/h. The U.S. National Hurricane Center's last update indicated the storm did have some chance of eventually attaining tropical storm status in the coming days.

Its track looks to take it west through Central America, possibly reaching Category 1 strength at some point.

TD29 track
TD29 track

All of this isn't remarkable, but what will be remarkable is that, if TD29 becomes a named storm, it will be given the name Eta, from the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet — the first storm in history to be given that name.

Hurricanes and tropical storms are given names from the Latin alphabet, but when the number of storms exceeds 21, they are given Greek names instead. That happened as early as September this year with subtropical storm Alpha, and has continued since then.

With Eta, the 2020 season now is tied with 2005 for the number of named storms (28), with two months left to the year, so there's a non-zero chance we may continue even deeper into record territory.

The record is shared with the 2005 season, in which the last named storm was Zeta. This storm actually lingered a few days into January before finally dissipating.