MIAMI – By 11 a.m. Monday, the National Hurricane Center announced that Tropical Storm Paulette formed in the central Atlantic, far from land. Less than six hours later, forecasters upgraded another depression to Tropical Storm Rene.
Both set records as the earliest 16th and 17th named storms of the Atlantic season. Both are at least a week away from causing any concern for the U.S. mainland.
Just before 5 p.m., the NHC said Paulette was 1,360 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds near 40 mph. It was moving to the northwest at 3 p.m. with modest strengthening expected over the next few days.
Rene was 115 miles east of teh Cabo Verde Islands and had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. It was moving west-northwest and 12 mph.
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While both these systems are likely to stay harmlessly out at sea, Models project a third storm to develop behind TD 18 which may take a more southern track toward the Lesser Antillies by the weekend.