Two New Tropical Storms Form, but Neither are a Likely U.S. Threat

Sep 7, 2020

Two new tropical storms formed in the central and eastern Atlantic Monday, but neither are expected to be a threat to the United States at this time.

Tropical Depression Seventeen intensified into Tropical Storm Paulette late Monday morning over the central Atlantic, 1,375 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands. Paulette is expected to continue tracking slowly to the west-northwest over the next several days, with modest additional strengthening anticipated through the end of the week, according to the National Hurricane Center. Paulette is then likely to curve and favor a more northerly direction by the end of the week, which would take it away from North America and any land areas.

Further east, Tropical Depression Eighteen strengthened into Tropical Storm Rene late Monday afternoon as it approached the Cabo Verde Islands. A Tropical Storm Warning was issued for the islands, which do not often receive a direct impact from tropical systems. The National Hurricane Center is anticipating heavy rainfall and tropical storm-force winds across the Cabo Verde Islands Monday night and Tuesday morning. Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next several days as the storm tracks west-northwest towards the central Atlantic, where it could become a hurricane by the end of the week. Long range forecast models are anticipating a turn more to the north over the next several days, which would also keep the system over open waters.

Elsewhere in the tropics, a low pressure system southwest of Bermuda has evolved into an area of interest for potential development later this week. However, at this time, it is not expected to become a significant tropical threat to the United States and will likely stay just offshore. The National Hurricane Center says that this area has a low chance of gradual development over the next two to five days as it moves westward toward the Mid-Atlantic states.

Paulette and Rene are the earliest "P" and "R"  storm on record, surpassing the previous record of Philippe and Rita, which formed on September 17, 2005 and September 18, 2005, respectively. The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season has so far set an impressive fourteen records for earliest named storms.