Tropical Storm Rene formed in the far Eastern Atlantic, strengthening from Tropical Depression Eighteen earlier today. This tropical cyclone is forecast to bring tropical storm conditions to the Cabo Verde Islands today into tonight.
This is the eighteenth tropical cyclone of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season and it became the earliest 17th named storm in Atlantic history. The previous record is Rita on September 18th, 2005. Rene is forecast to also become a hurricane later this week, as it moves out to sea.
This tropical cyclone is not forecast to directly impact Trinidad, Tobago or the Lesser Antilles.
At 5:00 PM AST, the center of Tropical Storm Rene was located near latitude 16.1 North, longitude 22.3 West. Rene is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h), and this motion with some increase in forward speed is expected over the next few days. On the forecast track, the center of the cyclone is will pass near or over the Cabo Verde Islands tonight and early Tuesday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast, and Rene could become a hurricane in two or three days.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1001 millibars.
Watches & Warnings
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- Cabo Verde Islands
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next 12 to 24 hours.
For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.
Hazards Affecting Land
RAINFALL: Rene is expected to produce 2 to 5 inches of rain across portions of the Cabo Verde Islands through Tuesday.
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin over the eastern portions of the Cabo Verde Islands later this evening and spread westward across the remainder of those islands through early Tuesday.
SURF: Swells generated by Rene are expected to spread westward across the Cabo Verde Islands tonight and early Tuesday. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.
This system is of no direct threat to the Windward Islands, including Trinidad and Tobago.
Tropical Storm Rene Forecast Discussion
The cyclone is getting better organized on its approach to the Cabo Verde Islands. Banding features are now well established over the western part of the circulation, and some smaller bands are filling in east of the center. The satellite intensity estimates currently range from 30 to 35 kt. Based on this data and the improved satellite appearance of the system, the initial intensity is raised to 35 kt, making the cyclone Tropical Storm Rene. Rene is the 17th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. It is also the earliest 17th named storm of any Atlantic season by 11 days. The previous record was Rita, which formed on September 18, 2005.
Rene is moving west-northwestward at 10 kt, and it should continue moving in that direction with some increase in forward speed for at least the next few days while subtropical ridging builds westward to the north of the storm. Toward the end of the forecast period, a turn to the northwest is expected as Rene moves into a weakness in the ridge. The models have shifted eastward at the longer ranges, especially the ECMWF model, and the NHC forecast has been adjusted in that direction at days 3 through 5.
Rene is forecast to gradually strengthen during the next few days as the storm is expected to remain over relatively warm water while moving through an environment consisting of low vertical wind shear and high amounts of moisture. An increase in southwesterly shear late this week and this weekend should end the strengthening trend and induce some weakening. The NHC intensity forecast is again an update of the previous one and is now in line with the HCCA and IVCN consensus models.
- Rene is expected to produce tropical storm conditions across portions of the Cabo Verde Islands tonight and early Tuesday. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for those islands.
- Rene will bring locally heavy rainfall to portions of the Cabo Verde Islands through Tuesday morning.
Forecast Discussion by Forecaster Cangialosi from the NHC.