Tropical Storm Rene continues to move into the Central Atlantic Ocean, with gradual strengthening forecast as it may near hurricane strength this weekend.
This is the eighteenth tropical cyclone of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season and it the earliest 17th named storm in Atlantic history. The previous record was 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 18.9 North, longitude 36.8 West. Rene is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h). This general motion is expected to continue through Friday, followed by a turn toward the northwest on Saturday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Rene is expected to become a hurricane by Saturday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1000 millibars.
Watches & Warnings
There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.
Hazards Affecting Land
There are no hazards affecting coastlines at this time.
This system is of no direct threat to the Windward Islands, including Trinidad and Tobago.
Tropical Storm Rene Forecast Discussion
It appeared that the storm had become better organized this morning, but that development trend seems to have been at least temporarily interrupted. Rene’s central features have become rather ragged-looking, and deep convection has diminished somewhat. It appears that the system is being disrupted a bit by easterly flow that is undercutting the outflow layer. There is also an apparent dearth of low-level inflow over the southern and southeastern portions of the circulation at this time. Dvorak intensity estimates from both TAFB and SAB remain T3.0/45 kt, so the current intensity estimate is unchanged from the previous advisory. Assuming that the upper-level winds will soon become a little more conducive for strengthening, Rene is forecast to become a hurricane
by the weekend. The official intensity forecast is a little below the latest model consensus.
Rene continues its west-northwestward movement with a motion of near 285/10 kt. The cyclone is expected to turn northwestward and then north-northwestward for the next few days, while moving around the western periphery of a mid-level anticyclone. Later in the forecast period, A mid-level high is predicted to build to the northwest of Rene, which should slow down the cyclone’s forward progress and cause it to turn to the left. At the present time, it appears that Rene will remain sufficiently separated from Paulette, which is located about 800 n mi to the west, for there not to be a significant binary interaction between the two storms. The official track forecast remains close to the simple dynamical model consensus, TVCN.
Forecast Discussion by Forecaster Pasch from the NHC.