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Paulette is now the earliest “P” named storm in recorded history. The next system to form would be named Rene.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph with higher gusts. As of 11 a.m., the storm was located about 1,205 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands.
Tropical Depression 18 formed in the Atlantic Ocean over the weekend.
Monday at 11 a.m., Tropical Depression 18 had 35 mph winds and was approximately 185 miles from the Cabo Verde Islands.
The storm is expected to become a hurricane by mid-week. It is forecast to bring tropical storm force winds and heavy rainfall to the Cabo Verde Islands Monday night.
Fortunately for residents across the Caribbean, Paulette 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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