Monday at 5 a.m., Tropical Depression 17 had 35 mph winds and was approximately 1200 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands. The storm was moving west-northwest at 6 mph. It’s not expected to affect the United States during the next five days.
The National Hurricane Center released data Monday morning on Tropical Depression 18, which has formed off the coast of Africa. The storm is expected to become a hurricane by mid-week. The models all keep the system out to sea, curving north. A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the Cabo Verde Islands.
If either system does become Paulette, that would set the record for the earliest “P” named storm on record, beating out Hurricane Philippe in 2011. The following system would be named Rene.
Fortunately for residents across the Caribbean, TS17 will likely pass harmlessly out to sea as the system makes a gradual turn from the northwest to the north, passing well to the northeast of the Leeward Islands.
Residents of Bermuda are at a somewhat higher risk, however, as the system curves northward, but chances are at this point that it will end up east of the British territory.
TS18 has some potential for earlier organization, placing the Cabo Verde Islands at some risk. That said, the environment immediately ahead of this wave isn’t such that rapid intensification is likely, so while heavier rain and gusty winds may be had regardless of development, the overall damage potential is low.
Having this many systems developing at once is not unusual for this time of year. The middle of September is the peak of the hurricane season.
Yet, this hurricane season has been more active than usual. It is on pace to have the most named storms ever, breaking the record set in 2005. The following tropical storms all set records as the earliest of their respective first letters to ever form: Cristobal, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, and Omar.
AccuWeather contributed to this report.
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