Two tropical storms formed in the Atlantic Ocean Monday, with Paulette coming together in the morning and Rene in the afternoon.
On Monday Paulette was churning about 1,200 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands. Rene was about 160 miles from Cabo Verde Islands off the western coast of Africa. Both pose no imminent threat to Florida.
“It’s way too early to have any impact or possibility of knowing where it’s going to head,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Jennifer Hubbard.
The storms are expected to move west or west-northwest for the next few days. Advisories from the National Hurricane Center predict the storms will slowly strengthen over the next two days.
Rene is farther from the United States and closer to the Cabo Verde Islands. The center of the cyclone was expected to pass over or near the islands late Monday, producing about 2 to 5 inches of rain through Tuesday. It could develop into a hurricane by Thursday, Hubbard said.
Paulette breaks the record for the earliest emergence of a 16th named Atlantic storm in a season. The previous record was held by the storm Philippe, which was named on Sept. 17, 2005. Rene breaks the record for the 17th Atlantic storm, beating Rita, which was named on Sept. 18, 2005.
In the Tampa Bay region, Hubbard said, hot and humid weather will continue throughout this week. Expect sea breeze thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening, she said.
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2020 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide
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