Satellite image
Visible satellite image of Tropical Storm Paulette (left) and Tropical Storm Rene (right) at 10:50 a.m. EDT Wednesday, September 9, 2020. (Image credit: NOAA/RAMMB)

Little has changed in the tropics on September 9 from the situation reported here in the September 8 post other than diminishing prospects for 94L’s developing into named storm Teddy. So  this posting will briefly update yesterday’s report, and we’ll continue to eye activities in the tropics in this extraordinary hurricane season going forward.

Paulette a threat to Bermuda

In the central Atlantic, Tropical Storm Paulette, featuring 60 mph winds at 11 a.m. EDT Wednesday, was headed west-northwest at nine mph towards Bermuda, which was in the National Hurricane Center’s five-day cone of uncertainty. Paulette was struggling with high wind shear of 20 – 30 knots from an upper-level trough of low pressure to its west. Wind shear is expected to increase through Friday, potentially causing Paulette to begin weakening. The shear is predicted to relax back to 20 – 25 knots on Sunday and Monday, which may allow Paulette to intensify into a category 1 hurricane as it approaches Bermuda.

None of the 0Z or 6Z Wednesday runs of the European and GFS models, and none of their 72 ensemble members, showed Paulette making landfall along the U.S. East Coast next week, and Bermuda currently appears to be the only land area facing a possible Paulette landfall.

Figure 1
Figure 1. Track and intensity of Tropical Storm Paulette from the 0Z Wednesday run of the COAMPS-TC model, the top-performing intensity model of 2019. The model predicted that Paulette would be a category 2 hurricane approaching Bermuda by the end of the model run, at 0Z Monday, September 14, 2020 (8 p.m. EDT Sunday). (Image credit: Naval Research Lab)

Rene not a threat to land

In the eastern Atlantic, Tropical Storm Rene, a minimal tropical storm with 40 mph winds at 11 a.m. EDT Wednesday, was headed west-northwest at 13 mph into the central Atlantic, far from any land areas. With adequately warm waters near 26.5 degrees Celsius (80°F), moderate wind shear, and a moist atmosphere, conditions appear favorable for Rene to intensify into a hurricane by Friday. Rene is expected to turn to the northwest by Saturday and begin weakening, and it is unlikely to affect any land areas.

Figure 2
Figure 2. Predicted path of this week’s tropical cyclones over the next eight days from the 0Z Wednesday, September 9, 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-northwestward or northwestward across the central Atlantic. A new tropical storm would join them by the weekend, with the new storm expected to move generally westward or west-northwestward after emerging from the coast of Africa on Thursday. (Image credit:

Southeastern U.S. states need to keep an eye on 94L

An area of low pressure located about 350 miles southeast of the North Carolina coast on Wednesday afternoon was headed northwest at about 10 – 12 mph. Satellite images showed that 94L had begun to produce a small area of heavy thunderstorms near the center of its weak surface circulation. Conditions for development through Thursday night appeared favorable, with the 12Z Wednesday run of the SHIPS model predicting a moderate 5 to 15 knots of wind shear, ocean temperatures near 29 degrees Celsius (84°F), and a moist atmosphere with a mid-level relative humidity of 65 – 70%. However, 94L’s weak circulation and some dry air aloft will inhibit development, and the system has very little model support pointing to its becoming a named storm. On its current track, 94L will be near the Carolina coast by Thursday evening, leaving little time for significant strengthening to occur. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft flight, scheduled to investigate 94L on Wednesday afternoon, was cancelled given the lack of development of the storm. The flight has been rescheduled for Thursday morning. In an 8 a.m. EDT Wednesday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 94L two-day and five-day odds of development of 30%.

Figure 3
Figure 3. Visible satellite image of 94L at 10:50 a.m. EDT Wednesday, September 9. The system was beginning to build a small area of heavy thunderstorms around its weak surface circulation center. (Image credit: NOAA/RAMMB)

The future Sally: a tropical wave emerging from Africa on Thursday?

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

This wave is predicted to move mostly westward at low latitude at about 15 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. Five of the 51 ensemble members from the 0Z Wednesday, September 9, run of the European ensemble forecast showed that this new system would be a hurricane in the Caribbean late next week.

However, the future track of the system may well depend upon the position and strength of Paulette and Rene, and on the structure of the wave once it emerges from Africa – variables very difficult to accurately predict. In an 8 a.m. EDT Wednesday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the new wave two-day and five-day odds of development of 40% and 80%, 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 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...

126 replies on “Tropical Storms Paulette and Rene soon could be joined by Sally (but no longer by Teddy)”

  1. well my area just go about 2 inches more rain today with this tropical wave passing over florida and..saturday another one passes over florida..hopefully not gaining strength but..adding yet more inches if rain..yeah i guess i can agree,,a flood watch is sure needed….good luck Florida

  2. Flood Watch
    National Weather Service Tampa Bay Area – Ruskin FL
    258 PM EDT Thu Sep 10 2020

    .Soils remain very saturated along the coast across West Central
    and Southwest Florida from above average rainfall accumulations
    within the past couple of weeks. A tropical wave is expected to
    move across Florida on Saturday bringing increasing atmospheric
    moisture to the area and will maintain a heavy rain threat. Given
    the antecedent ground conditions, a flooding threat is possible
    this weekend.

    Pinellas-Coastal Hillsborough-Coastal Manatee-Coastal Sarasota-
    Coastal Charlotte-Coastal Lee-
    Including the cities of St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo, Tampa,
    Apollo Beach, Westchase, Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, Venice,
    Sarasota, Englewood, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral,
    Captiva, and Sanibel
    258 PM EDT Thu Sep 10 2020


    The National Weather Service in Tampa Bay Area – Ruskin FL has
    issued a

    * Flood Watch for portions of southwest Florida and west central
    Florida, including the following areas, in southwest Florida,
    Coastal Charlotte and Coastal Lee. In west central Florida,
    Coastal Hillsborough, Coastal Manatee, Coastal Sarasota, and

    * From Saturday morning through Sunday morning

    * Persistent heavy rain pattern along with favorable antecedent
    ground conditions will continue the threat for flooding across
    West Central and Southwest Florida.

    * The heavy rainfall will have the potential to cause flooding
    of low-lying and poor drainage areas. Flooding will also
    affect roadways, rivers, creeks, and smaller streams. Remember
    to not drive across flooded roadways. Turn around. Don`t
    drown. Residents living in flood prone areas as well as along
    rivers and faster flowing streams should keep alert to any
    rapid rises in water levels and be ready to move to higher
    ground if flooding is observed.


    A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding based on
    current forecasts.

    You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible
    Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be
    prepared to take action should flooding develop.



Comments are closed.