Tropical Storm Rene continues to move into the Central Atlantic Ocean, with gradual strengthening forecast over the next day or so.
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 20.7 North, longitude 41.1 West. Rene is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph (22 km/h). A turn toward the northwest followed by a turn toward the north-northwest is expected over the next couple of days.
Maximum sustained winds remain near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, but a weakening trend will likely begin by late Sunday.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1004 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
Deep convection has increased over the western semicircle of the circulation and is re-forming near the center. Based on a blend of subjective Dvorak classifications and ADT values from UW-CIMSS, the current intensity estimate remains at 35 kt. Hopefully, we will get a scatterometer pass over the system soon to give a better intensity estimate. Some strengthening is anticipated during the next day or so, but increasing shear should halt the intensification process, and bring about weakening, thereafter. The official intensity forecast is above the latest model consensus.
Rene continues to move west-northwestward and should gradually turn to the right while it moves around the western periphery of a mid-level high-pressure system for the next couple of days. In the latter half of the forecast period, a blocking high to the north and northwest of Rene should force the cyclone to turn toward the west and west-southwest. The new official track forecast has been shifted to the southwest of the previous one in 3-5 days, following the latest guidance.
Forecast Discussion by Forecaster Pasch from the NHC.