Two tropical storms churning in the Atlantic Ocean

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Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Tropical Storm Rene, Paulette to spend next 5 days at sea
Tropical Storm Rene, Paulette to spend next 5 days at sea

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Two tropical storms have formed in the Atlantic Ocean, including Rene, which formed off the coast of West Africa.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning for the Cabo Verde Islands, saying Rene would produce tropical storm-force winds and heavy rainfall across the island country on Tuesday morning.

What happens when we run out of letters of the alphabet for hurricane names?

It turns out the list starts over, with the Greek Alphabet. We'll look at the first six names on that list:

Rene is the earliest "R-named" storm in a record-setting hurricane season, breaking the previous record of Rita, which formed Sept. 18, 2005. It's expected to become a hurricane on Thursday.

Earlier Monday, Tropical Storm Paulette formed in the central Atlantic, where it currently poses no threat to land.

Also across the basin, a disorganized area of low pressure is located just to the southeast of Bermuda. This low will drift to the west towards the Carolina coast in the coming days, but only has a low to medium chance for development given unfavorable wind shear along its path. Should the shear weaken more than currently anticipated, then development potential could increase.

Yet another tropical wave is expected to emerge from the coast of Africa during the second half of the week. Conditions should be favorable for some development later this week or this upcoming weekend. Should this system acquire tropical storm status, it will be named Sally. The record for the earliest 19th named storm in a season is currently Stan from 2005, which became a tropical storm on the 2nd of October that year.

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.

Preparing your hurricane kit during COVID-19

Since we are still dealing with COVID-19 during hurricane season your hurricane kit might look a little different this year.

AccuWeather and The Associated Press contributed to this report.