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.

Website visitors can comment on “Eye on the Storm” posts (see below). Please read our Comments Policy prior to posting. (See all EOTS posts here. Sign up to receive notices of new postings here.)

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. Thanks, Dr Masters!
    I am so grateful that the blog community is still able to gather, share vital and timely info, and help educate each other.

    1. to think that it isn’t even the main fire season yet there
      much like the Atlantic Cyclone season going Greek before September ends at this rate
      202, Sigh

      1. Thanks. I was only looking in the list of stories under “Stories in Eye on the Storm”. I’m not used to this site yet, I guess.

      1. supposed to be mid 60’s tomorrow afternoon, back to the 80’s this weekend.
        having to pull in the garden (and farmer’s crops) early is more of a problem

  2. 3:15 PM in the middle of the afternoon, the 35mph winds with 50mph gusts blew the heavy smoke plume to the south of us, leaving a still breexy, but blue sky day, in the 80 degree range (down from 110 yesterday), but, I think every fly on the planet blew in on the winds…like sitting out in the Alaskan woods right now. I just want to enjoy the best day here in months sitting outside in a cool breeze.

  3. Thanks Dr. Jeff, for this update it´s going to be a busy two weeks coming up i think. A very active season indeed.

  4. Thanks again, Dr. Masters!

    Thoughts and prayers for those being affected by the wildfires in Pacific W/NW…..

  5. Thank You Dr. Masters; goes to show us that the Atlantic Basin does not need an active MJO pulse in the basin, to generate a classic Cape Verde peak period storm cluster, around the September 10th climatological peak in a forecast hyper-active season; if the two additional storms get named, that would be 4 additional Sept storms by middle of Sept (including 94L and the African wave)……With that being said, I am also concerned about October when the MJO is probably due back in terms of leftover CV waves getting a groove on in the Western Caribbean, Central American/Gomex disturbances, and traditional closer to home trof remnants that fester in low shear windows…….October will probably get us to some dangerous storms as well as the Greek Alphabet………Just Sayin…………..

  6. i remember when if in conversation a person mentioned that they heard or read of a person describing a year when 3 , 4 Tropical Storms where in the Atlantic at the same time, that person in the story was in their senior years (72+) and was remembering their childhood or maybe teen years.

    Today if one makes such a comment its about such grouping of TS at one time 4 or 6 years ago. Soon “last year we had 4 within a week and 20 in a year” will become common-talk and some still think man-made chemically induced global warming is a made up thing. Please ask your neighbors that have to spend hard earned money preparing for 3 to 5 TS a year when their grandparents did that at most twice a year…not even counting the re re repair bills, insurance premiums, car/home cleaning etc.

    i hope FEMA listened to my requests that dark plexiglass be used as dividers in storm shelters as if covid-19 re-fires and cloth is used::

    1) Cloth can soak through from someone coughing too much, plexiglass

    does not.

    2) Cloth can snap as in if one pushes against a cloth it can straighten out

    suddenly and expel any fluids on it into the air, plexiglass cannot.

    3) Cloth/plastic can tear, Plexiglass needs lots of force on it to break.

    4) Some clean cloth they think has a virus on it with flammable fluids (don’t

    want to post what, but in the country its used to clean hands or run the

    car) If cloth soaked in such accidentally ignited very dangerous

  7. Flood Advisory
    National Weather Service Melbourne FL
    430 PM EDT Tue Sep 8 2020
    Orange FL-Seminole FL-
    430 PM EDT Tue Sep 8 2020
    The National Weather Service in Melbourne has issued a
    * Flood Advisory for...
      Western Orange County in east central Florida...
      Southwestern Seminole County in east central Florida...
    * Until 630 PM EDT.
    * At 430 PM EDT, Doppler radar indicated heavy rain due to
      thunderstorms. Minor flooding is ongoing or expected to begin
      shortly in the advisory area. Between 1 and 2 inches of rain have
    Some locations that will experience flooding include...
      Orlando, Apopka, Altamonte Springs, Ocoee, Winter Garden, Winter
      Park, Casselberry, Maitland, Windermere, Bay Lake, Pine Hills,
      Lockhart, Oak Ridge, College Park, Conway, Zellwood, Azalea Park,
      Belle Isle and Oakland.
    An additional 1 to 2 inches can be expected in some areas in the
    Flood Advisory area through 6 pm.
    A Flood Advisory means river or stream flows are elevated, or
    ponding of water in urban or other areas is occurring or is imminent.
    LAT...LON 2852 8131 2847 8137 2843 8147 2836 8161
          2836 8166 2837 8166 2838 8166 2841 8166
          2842 8166 2857 8165 2858 8165 2859 8165
          2870 8165 2874 8147 2867 8137 2864 8131
  8. Paulette, Rene, Sally and Teddy, sounds like a partner swap movie from the 70’s. Glad there is no NHC “Q” storm naming or the TrumPee’s would wet their pants. 2 pairs heading northwest after each other, both look like they will each do a Fuji dance too a bit before possibly going poof. Fun to watch if all stay OTS…looks like each pair will show a grimacing face on the models…The Atlantic Screaming…


    Under the plume, in 50 mph gusts from the north, still coughing (ok, at least the cough is not covid-19 induced, there is that). ARMAGEDDON to the northwest and west, now in red flag extreme fire danger area also, but temps dropped from 110 yesterday to a blustery 75 degree wakeup temp this morning. No way to enjoy your coffee in thick smoke and blustery winds outside on the coolest (sub triple digit temp), morning in months.

    2020 rolls on.

Comments are closed.