PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – The tropics aren’t taking off for Labor Day. Two tropical depressions that formed overnight in the Atlantic have strengthened into tropical storms.
Tropical Storm Paulette formed out of what had been Tropical Depression Seventeen in the Central Atlantic shortly before 11 a.m.
It is the earliest “P” storm in Atlantic history, 10 days earlier than previous record-holder Philippe (Sept. 17, 2005).
Tropical Storm Rene formed Monday afternoon, setting a record for the earliest “R” storm. The previous record was held by Tropical Storm Rita, which formed one day after Philippe, on Sept. 18, 2005.
At 5 p.m., Paulette was moving slowly over Central Atlantic, about 1,360 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center, the National Hurricane Center says, but there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.
It could remain a tropical storm into next weekend but is only inching west at 3 mph.
Tropical Storm Rene is further east, about 180 miles east of the Cabo Verde Islands at 2 p.m., and expected to bring tropical storm winds and heavy rainfall to those islands later today and tonight.
“Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts,” the Hurricane Center said. “Gradual strengthening is forecast, and Rene could become a hurricane in a two or three days.”
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center of Rene.
There is no immediate threat to South Florida with either system, Local 10 meteorologist Luke Dorris says, and he’ll be watching to see if the steering flow eventually brings them north of us.