Tropical Storm Paulette formed Monday in the Atlantic and Rene will form soon, says the National Hurricane Center.
Both storms will break records by forming Monday. Paulette is now the earliest 16th Atlantic named storm, forming earlier than the previous record-holder, Philippe, which developed on Sept. 17, 2005.
Rita is the record holder for the earliest 17th named storm. It formed on Sept. 18, 2005. Rene will break that record Monday once it forms.
“Tropical Depression Eighteen is very near tropical storm strength,” says the NHC.
Tropical depression Eighteen, soon to be Rene, is the closest system near land.
It will track through the middle of the Cape Verde Islands through Tuesday afternoon.
During this time, it will maintain tropical storm strength, slowly strengthening as it passes through.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the islands.
The storm will produce 2 to 5 inches of rain across portions of the Islands.
Life-threatening surf and rip currents are possible as the storm passes through.
After it moves away from Cape Verde, it will continue its strengthening trend and likely reach hurricane status by Thursday.
Paulette is west of the Cape Verde Islands and nowhere near land.
This storm has sustained winds of 40 mph. It is likely to have some gradual strengthening. But at this time, it isn’t forecast to become a hurricane.
Both Rene and Paulette are forecast to remain out over the Atlantic this week. Forecast computer models differ on the storms’ expected strength but consistently keep both of them out over open water and not threaten the US.
However, another area of concern coming off Africa’s coast could become the next named storm, Sally. Experts will closely watch this area as forecast models show the storm moving further west than the current storms.
There is also a low chance of development south of Bermuda. If it forms, it could become Sally before the other storm. Though tropical development seems unlikely, if it does form it could move close to the US East Coast.
On average, the Atlantic only sees 11 named storms throughout a hurricane season. We are still days away from the peak of the season.