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

September 7, 2020

Two new tropical depressions formed in the central and eastern Atlantic Sunday night, 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 (TD18) was continuing to organize quickly 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 that TD18 will strengthen into a tropical storm late Monday, bringing heavy rainfall and tropical storm-force winds to the 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.

NHC: Low chance of tropical development in next five days.

Paulette is the earliest "P" storm on record, surpassing the previous record of Philippe which formed on September 17, 2005. If TD18 strengthens into a tropical storm it will be given the name "Rene" and break the record for earliest "R" storm if it forms before September 18. The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season has so far set an impressive thirteen records for earliest named storms.

Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

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