Three Atlantic systems image
Infrared satellite image at 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday, September 8, 2020, of three Atlantic tropical systems to watch. Superimposed in warm colors are the location of dust and dry air of the Saharan Air Layer (SAL). The SAL was affecting Rene and 94L to a lesser degree than Paulette. (Image credit: University of Wisconsin)

This week marks the climatological peak week of the Atlantic hurricane season, and the record-busy pace of named storms in 2020 shows no signs of slowing down. By week’s end, there could be two additional named storms, Sally and Teddy, joining Tropical Storm Paulette and Tropical Storm Rene.

Paulette and Rene pose no immediate threat to land

In the central Atlantic, Tropical Storm Paulette, featuring 65 mph winds at 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday, was headed northwest at 6 mph towards Bermuda. Paulette was experiencing high wind shear of 15 – 25 knots from an upper-level trough of low pressure to its west, and high wind shear will continue to affect the storm through the week, potentially causing Paulette to embark on a weakening trend. The high shear was forcing dry air from the Saharan Air Layer into Paulette’s circulation, slowing intensification.

Paulette could affect Bermuda by the middle of next week, and it is too early to completely dismiss the idea that the storm could affect the southeastern U.S. late next week. Hurricane Florence of 2018 took a path similar to Paulette’s and ended up making landfall in North Carolina. The Tuesday morning runs of the European and GFS ensemble forecasts did have a few of the 72 members predicting that Paulette would come close to the southeast U.S. coast late next week.

In the eastern Atlantic, Tropical Storm Rene, a minimal tropical storm with 40 mph winds at 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday, was headed west at 16 mph away from the Cabo Verde Islands. With adequately warm waters near 27 degrees Celsius (81°F), light wind shear, and a moist atmosphere, conditions appear favorable for Rene to intensify into a hurricane by week’s end. Rene is expected to turn to the northwest, and it is unlikely to affect any land areas after leaving behind the Cabo Verde Islands.

Figure 1
Figure 1. Predicted path of this week’s tropical cyclones over the next five days from the 0Z Tuesday, September 8, run of the European ensemble model. The model’s 51 ensemble members (colored lines, which show minimum central pressure) predicted Paulette and Rene would move generally west-northwest across the central Atlantic; they would there be joined by a new tropical storm by the weekend, which would move generally westward after emerging from the coast of Africa on Thursday. (Image credit:

Southeast U.S. needs to watch 94L

An area of low pressure located several hundred miles southwest of Bermuda on Tuesday afternoon was headed west-northwest at 5 – 10 mph towards the Carolinas. Satellite images showed that 94L had a weak surface circulation and was producing sparse and disorganized heavy thunderstorm activity. Conditions for development through Thursday appeared favorable, with the 12Z Tuesday run of the SHIPS model predicting a moderate 5 – 15 knots of wind shear, ocean temperatures near 29.5 – 30 degrees Celsius (85 – 86°F), and a moist atmosphere with a mid-level relative humidity of 65 – 70%. In a 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 94L two-day and five-day odds of development of 30% and 40%, respectively. On its current track, 94L will be near the Carolinas by Thursday, leaving little time for significant strengthening to occur. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate 94L on Wednesday afternoon.

Figure 2
Figure 2. Visible satellite image of 94L at 1 p.m. EDT Tuesday, September 8, 2020. The system had a small surface circulation and a sparse heavy thunderstorm activity. (Image credit: NOAA/RAMMB)

The next African tropical wave is also of concern

The top models for forecasting tropical cyclone genesis are giving strong support for development to a new tropical wave predicted to emerge from the coast of Africa on Thursday.

Climate change is causing more rapid intensification of Atlantic hurricanes

This wave is predicted to move mostly westward at low latitude at 15 – 20 mph next week. Given its lower-latitude position compared to Paulette and Rene, this new tropical wave may be a long-range concern for the Caribbean and North America. Several ensemble members from the 0Z Tuesday, September 8, run of the European ensemble forecast showed that this new system would move through the Lesser Antilles by the middle of next week as a hurricane. In a 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the new wave two-day and five-day odds of development of 10% and 70%, respectively.

The next two names on the Atlantic list of storms are Sally and Teddy.

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Posted on September 8, 2020 (3:40pm EDT). See update: “Tropical Storms Paulette and Rene soon could be joined by Sally (but no longer by Teddy)” posted on September 9, 2020 (1:40pm EDT).

Jeff Masters, Ph.D., worked as a hurricane scientist with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. After a near-fatal flight into category 5 Hurricane Hugo, he left the Hurricane Hunters to pursue a...

68 replies on “Tropical Storms Paulette and Rene could be joined by Sally and Teddy this week”

  1. Bob Woodward dropped a huge reveal today. We now know Trump knew all along the risk of Covid-19 as soon as late January. He readily is recorded saying he intentionally misled the Nation as a strategy. How many died because of this? How many more will?

    I wrote this way back on 2/26/20: Trump and Pence speaking now (Wed.night Presidential Address) on Covid-19. The message is the risk to America is low. They are lying to you….


    1. And he continues to downplay and even encourage his followers to not follows guidelines he knows will protect them, how much more evil can a person be to knowingly deceive those who trust him? I cannot be anymore disgusted.

      1. To tell people at his rallies there is almost no risk should show them once and for all who he really is.

    2. Little late in the game to tell us now Bob Woodward? All these recordings were with Trump’s permission too. In our faces enough yet? My heart cries out for those who have died, Moms, Dads, Children, Grandparents, our Veterans, our Cops, our Doctors, and Minorities getting it worse than all. This should be okay with no one. I’ve been trying to move mountains to stop this ridiculously obvious evil.

    3. And just now you recognise that, i have read a message on the old blog the first time about cases of the new corona in december 2019, and the news was that it was already happening as of halve november that the first cases apeared in Wuhan province.Just as of Januari 2020 the news came out by oficial channels. By that time most of the people of wuhan already had left the country for the chinese new-year hollidays. First cases in Europe were reported in France in februari.

  2. Billion animals died in Australia fires last year. Scientists are screaming 75% of the Brazilian Rain Forests will be unrecoverable if actions aren’t taken immediately to stop the never ending fires there. We may be looking at hundreds of thousands displaced long term out West this Fire Season. This will be a late peak Hurricane Season, most of us know that. We’ve not yet hit peak of Fire Season either. 2020 is the perfect storm on out of control rapid intensification. Drove across areas of S.C/Georgia where hundreds of thousands of acres of corn was all dead, full loss. Rain of almost 2 feet above seasonal average for many places in the area had a devastating effect. Soil saturation has been very high all Spring and Summer here. When it rained it rained inches, with very few breaks of more than a few days. I would suspect crop losses are similar across many areas of the Southeast.

  3. We enter the time when the monsters of September show. High Pressure builds back in the Atlantic soon; and steering goes back similar to earlier in the season. Paulette and Rene may not reach the U.S, too far out to know yet. What we can know is that landfalling major or majors will very likely happen yet this season across the basin. Including likely at least one more major landfall for the U.S. At least. NHC credits for picture.

    1. Stormy weather moves in for much of Central America Thursday; but the storms in the Atlantic and coming off Africa should not threaten Central America at all.

  4. Atlantic Satellite loops shows after a lackluster d-max, 94L is putting on the circular shape and building convection now in earnest. %’s should go up later today.

  5. The real category five is empathy scalped alive
    Little corners of planted thought
    Parroting snark never fact checking
    Group think run amuck in a house perfectly divided
    I don’t wonder why I don’t get invited
    I’m not speaking on specific people here
    Many of you I hold very very dear
    Have you seen Mosul, Beirut, or Damascus
    Fortunate to not walk in their shoes in those disasters
    Be like Patrap lift a hand up to your neighbor
    Never know when you might need that same favor

  6. 94L traveling along with the trough draped over Florida, not strong enough yet to consolidate storms vigerously around center. Mid level vort sad looking and convergence/divergence remains just off the Southeast coast. 94L has low windshear, decent moisture, but until convection can fire and sustain, 94L will remain needing a wardrobe. 94L has moved into an area of richer moisture than it was in last night, should have a decent day slowly building convection.×1080.jpg

    Trough and 94L shown at 850mb

    1. This nice guy is 93, trying to get the hang of things here, and people are seriously downvoting a nice old guy trying to learn? Windsmurf I hope you don’t take it seriously, lot of good eggs here, and I’m glad you’re here too.

      1. Thank you for your kind words young man, I do understand that some folks on here will not like me because I don’t have much to offer as far as weather expertise but I can most likely offer them a genuine advise on how to live a humble and peaceful life. Never allow the negative actions of others affect your vision of a beautiful day.

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