Following the dissipation of Omar, the Atlantic basin is picking up right where it left off in this record-setting season, with several features being monitored to become the next named storms.
“The eastern Atlantic is going to become quite active during the next few days,” AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said this past weekend. By Monday morning, a new tropical storm and tropical depression were swirling in the far eastern tropical Atlantic.
This view of the Atlantic Ocean shows Tropical Storm Paulette and Tropical Depression 18 along with several other possible areas of development on Monday morning, Sept. 7, 2020. (AccuWeather)
One area that AccuWeather meteorologists have been monitoring became Tropical Depression 17 roughly midway between the Cabo Verde Islands and Lesser Antilles on Sunday night.
This depression quickly strengthened into Tropical Storm Paulette over the central tropical Atlantic on Monday morning. Paulette had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was barely moving to the west-northwest at a speed of 3 mph. As of 11 a.m. EDT, Paulette was located about 1,375 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,” Kottlowski said.
Another robust tropical wave that emerged off the coast of western Africa on Sunday quickly organized into Tropical Depression 18 early Monday morning, which was later upgraded to Tropical Storm Renee late Monday afternoon.
Tropical Storm Renee had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was moving to the west at 12 mph as of 4 p.m. EDT Monday.
Additional strengthening is likely early this week, and the depression is expected to reach tropical storm status. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Cabo Verde Islands. https://playlist.megaphone.fm/?e=ACC2878883980
“The heaviest rain will fall along and just to the north of the storm’s track where 2-4 inches are expected, with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ rainfall of 6 inches across the Cabo Verde Islands,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty said.
The strongest winds, on the order of 40-55 mph gusts with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 65 mph, are expected along and just to the north of the storm’s track, which will put the central and northern islands at the greatest risk for impacts.
Due to these impacts, Tropical Storm Renee is less than one on the AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes in the Cabo Verde Islands.
“Beyond the Cabo Verde Islands, Tropical Storm Renee is expected to become a hurricane while continuing to the northwest across the open waters of the central Atlantic,” Douty 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 is not expected to develop, 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.
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