Sept. 8 (UPI) — Tropical Storms Paulette and Rene were swirling in the far eastern tropical Atlantic early Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center reported.
The hurricane center issued a tropical storm warning for Rene in effect for the Cabo Verde Islands, where the storm was expected to make landfall within the next few hours. Rene’s maximum sustained winds were recorded at 40 mph. The storm was moving west at 14 mph, the hurricane center said in its 2 a.m. CVT update.
The system was located about 45 miles west of Boa Vista, Cabo Verde Island, and about 125 miles east-southeast of Santo Antao, the NHC said, adding little change in its strength is expected during the day though it is forecast to grow stronger starting Tuesday night through Thursday.
The strongest winds, on the order of 40 mph to 55 mph gusts with a maximum of 65 mph, are expected along and just to the north of Rene’s track, which will put the central and northern islands at the greatest risk for impacts, Accuweather said.
“The heaviest rain will fall along and just to the north of the [Rene’s] track where 2-4 inches are expected, with rainfall of 6 inches across the Cabo Verde Islands,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Adam Douty said.
“Beyond the Cabo Verde Islands, Rene is expected to become a hurricane while continuing to the northwest across the open waters of the central Atlantic,” Douty said.
At 11 p.m. AST on Monday, the hurricane center said Paulette was recording maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and moving slowly at around 5 mph, about 1,350 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands.
Paulette, the 16th named storm of the 2020 season, set another record for the basin. This is the earliest on record that a “P” named storm has developed, according to Colorado State University Meteorologist Phil Klotzbach. The previous record was set by Philippe, which formed on Sept. 17, 2005.
The system will track generally to the west-northwest across the Atlantic and should pass just north of the Lesser Antilles late in the week.
“All residents and interests of the Lesser Antilles, especially the Leeward Islands should closely monitor the progression of this evolving tropical system,” Accuweather meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said.
Another strong tropical wave is projected to emerge from the African Coast late in the week.
Farther west, a weak tropical wave over the Caribbean Sea has a low chance of development but could bring an uptick in showers and thunderstorms across southern Hispaniola and Jamaica over the next few days.
Another area being monitored is a bit closer to the United States.
“An area of low pressure currently to the southeast of Bermuda will track to the west early this week,” Douty said.
“Atmospheric conditions are only marginally favorable for development through this time and there is only a low chance for development,” Douty added.
However, if the storm’s forward progression slows down, the wind shear in the area could decrease and allow the storm to become more organized.
Interests along the Southeast coast should pay close attention to this feature, regardless of development, as it could bring an uptick in drenching showers and thunderstorms, as well as rough surf and rip currents, toward the middle and latter part of the week.
The next tropical storm name on the list for 2020 in the Atlantic is Sally.
As was the case with Paulette, there is a significant chance more early formation records will fall and join Cristobal, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana and Omar as top of the list for early formation for their respective letters.
Before Rene, Rita, which formed on Sept. 18, 2005, was the record holder for the earliest “R” named storm on record.
Early this summer, AccuWeather meteorologists predicted a hyperactive peak hurricane season, which is now underway. AccuWeather meteorologists are calling for up to 24 tropical storms and up to 11 hurricanes in total this season.
These numbers mean that the Greek alphabet will have to be utilized for tropical storm names, which was only done in one other season: 2005.