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Subtropical Storm Theta Makes 2020 Busiest Hurricane Season On Record

A history-making storm is gaining momentum over the middle of the Atlantic.

Monday, Subtropical Storm Theta became the 29th named storm of the year, surpassing the 28 storms of 2005 and making the 2020 hurricane season the busiest on record.

The system is not expected to make landfall in the U.S.

As of 10 p.m. ET , the National Weather Service reportedTheta is moving east through the Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph with higher gusts.

Forecasters say some slight strengthening is possible during the next 12 to 24 hours followed by little change through Thursday.

Theta was named after the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet, which forecasters turn to when they run out of regular-season names.

The World Meteorological Organization sets a total of 21 alphabetical names for each hurricane season, with each name used only once every six years. (The naming convention skips over Q,U, X, Y and Z.) In 2020, that meant forecasters had to turn to the Greek alphabet after Tropical Storm Wilfred.

It's only the second season the WMO has run out of alphabetic names, the other being 2005.

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Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.