ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) — Just as the remnants of Eta finally blew out to sea on Friday, another storm formed that could follow its path of death and destruction into Central America this weekend, and Tropical Storm Theta was moving closer to Europe.
Hurricane experts were closely watching the Caribbean, where Tropical Storm Iota formed Friday afternoon.
Forecasters warned that Iota could power up quickly, to near major hurricane strength, as it approaches Central America late Sunday or Monday, and wreak more havoc in a region where people are still grappling with the aftermath of Eta.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Iota could bring dangerous wind, storm surge and as much as 30 inches of rainfall to northern Nicaragua and Honduras.
The storm was located about 335 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica and had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour.
There were no coastal warnings or watches in effect as of Friday afternoon.
Iota is a record-setting 30th named storm of this year’s extraordinarily busy Atlantic hurricane season.
Such activity has focused attention on climate change, which scientists say is causing wetter, stronger and more destructive storms.