Tropical Depression Rene continues to move into the Central Atlantic Ocean, gradually succumbing to dry air and increased wind shear.
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 Depression Rene was located near latitude 24.3 North, longitude 45.6 West. The depression is moving toward the northwest near 14 mph (22 km/h). A slower northwestward motion is expected by Sunday, and a slow westward motion is forecast by Sunday night. On Monday and Tuesday, the system is forecast to turn west-southwestward.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. Some gradual weakening is possible over the next few days. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 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 Depression Rene Forecast Discussion
A fragmented band of deep convection has recently developed over the northern portion of the circulation, but the associated cloud tops are already warming, suggesting that dry air is continuing to hinder development. Dvorak classifications of T2.0 (30 kt) from both TAFB and SAB and the earlier ASCAT data are the basis for the 30-kt initial intensity. The depression is expected to remain within an area of dry mid-level air and increasing west-northwesterly shear on Sunday and these factors are likely to contribute to gradual weakening over the next couple of days. While the shear is forecast to abate later in the period, the SHIPS guidance indicates mid-level relative humidity values of 30-40 percent, which suggest weakening is likely to continue. The global models also weaken the system with the UK and ECMWF showing dissipation within 4-5 days. The new NHC intensity forecast is again lowered from before and now calls for Rene to become a remnant low in 72 h and dissipate by day 5. Both of these events, however, could occur much sooner.
Rene is moving northwestward at about 12 kt. A blocking ridge of high pressure is forecast to build to the northwest of Rene on Sunday which is expected to considerably slow the forward progress of the cyclone. As the ridge continues to shift eastward and build, Rene or its remnants are forecast to turn west-southwestward in the low-level steering flow early next week. The overall guidance envelope as changed little from this morning and the new NHC track forecast is essentially an update of the previous advisory.
Forecast Discussion by Forecaster Brown from the NHC.