Sept. 8 (UPI) — Tropical Storm Rene was downgraded to a tropical depression on Tuesday, after producing strong winds and heavy rains in the Cabo Verde Islands.
The National Hurricane Center said in its 2 a.m. CVT Tuesday update that Rene was about 360 miles west-northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands and had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. It was moving west-northwest at 16 mph.
“On the forecast track, the center of Rene will move away from the Cabo Verde Islands later tonight,” the NHC said.
The strongest winds, on the order of 40 mph to 55 mph gusts with a maximum of 65 mph, are expected along and just to the north of Rene’s track, which will put the central and northern islands at the greatest risk for impact, Accuweather forecasters said.
“The heaviest rain will fall along and just to the north of the [Rene’s] track where 2-4 inches are expected, with rainfall of 6 inches across the Cabo Verde Islands,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Adam Douty said.
Rene is a short distance behind Tropical Storm Paulette, which also formed early Monday. The next tropical storm name on the list for 2020 in the Atlantic is Sally.
As was the case with Paulette, there is a significant chance more early formation records will fall and join Cristobal, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana and Omar as top of the list for early formation for their respective letters.
Before Rene, Rita, which formed on Sept. 18, 2005, was the record holder for the earliest “R” named storm on record.
Early this summer, AccuWeather meteorologists predicted a hyperactive peak hurricane season. Meteorologists are calling for up to 24 tropical storms and up to 11 hurricanes in total this season.
These numbers mean that the Greek alphabet will have to be utilized for tropical storm names, which was only done in one other season: 2005.