2 tropical storms: Rene becomes earliest ‘R’ named storm on record in Atlantic after Paulette forms

It’s the peak of hurricane season, and “P” named and “R” named storms are already swirling in the Atlantic — Paulette and Renee. The two tropical storms formed Monday.

Early Monday, Tropical Storm Paulette formed in the central Atlantic, far from land. As of Monday afternoon, the storm was moving to the northwest at 3 mph and had sustained winds of 40 mph.

Tropical Storms Paulette and Rene as seen from visible satellite Monday (NOAA/NHC)

Slight strengthening of Paulette is expected over the next few days as it remains in warmer water. Models predict that Paulette will curve to the north and then west. It is currently not an immediate threat to land.

Monday afternoon, Tropical Storm Rene developed and was centered just off the coast of Africa. Rene was located about 115 miles east of the Cabo Verde Islands, and was moving west-northwest at 12 mph, with tropical force winds of 40 mph. Current forecast models indicate Rene will likely become a hurricane, but will stay far away from United States.

A tropical storm warning was issued for the Cabo Verde Islands due to the threat of Rene. According to the National Hurricane Center, Rene is expected to produce tropical storm conditions for portions of the Cabo Verde Islands Monday night and early Tuesday. Rene will likely bring heavy rainfall to sections of the Cabo Verde Islands through Tuesday morning.

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Rene is the earliest 17th named “R” storm in a record-setting hurricane season, breaking the previous record of Rita, which formed Sept. 18, 2005.

If all 26 names are used, the letters of the Greek alphabet will then be used. According to FOX 35 Orlando, the last time the Greek alphabet was used in the Atlantic was in 2005, the year of Hurricane Katrina.