Tropical Storm "Rene" formed at 21:00 UTC on September 7, 2020, as the 17th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. Rene is also the earliest forming 17th Atlantic named storm on record, breaking the old record set by Rita on September 18, 2005. The storm is moving across Cabo Verde today, bringing locally heavy rain and life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
At the time Rene was officially named, its center was located about 180 km (115 miles) E of the Cabo Verde. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h (45 mph) and was moving WNW at 19 km/h (12 mph). Tropical Storm Warning was issued for the entire state.
Image credit: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS. Acquired September 7, 2020
By 06:00 UTC on September 8, Rene's center was about 50 km (30 miles) SSE of Sao Nicolau and 155 km (95 miles) SE of Santo Antao, Cabo Verde. Maximum sustained winds remained the same throughout the period.
The system was moving W near 22 km/h (14 mph). Its minimum central pressure was 1 001 hPa.
Image credit: EUMETSAT/Meteosat-11. Acquired 18:30 UTC on September 7, 2020.
Tropical Storm "Rene" at 05:45 UTC on September 8, 2020. Image credit: EUMETSAT/Meteosat-11
On the current NHC forecast track, Rene's center will pass over the central Cabo Verde this morning (LT) and over the western Cabo Verde this afternoon, September 8.
A westward motion is expected today, followed by a west-northwestward motion through Thursday, September 10 as Rene rounds the southwestern periphery of a deep-layer subtropical ridge.
It's possible that Rene could weaken by the time it passes the western Cabo Verde Islands. Thereafter, however, environmental conditions appear conducive for the cyclone to gradually strengthen, becoming a hurricane on September 10. By the weekend, an increase in southwesterly vertical wind shear is expected to induce a weakening trend.
The storm is expected to produce 50 - 130 mm (2 - 5 inches) of rain across portions of Cabo Verde.
Swells generated by the storm are expected to spread westward across the state today. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Featured image: Tropical Storm "Rene" at 05:45 UTC on September 8, 2020. Image credit: EUMETSAT/Meteosat-11