Tropical Depression 17 forms in the Atlantic

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Monday, September 7, 2020
Tropical Depression 17 forms in the Atlantic
Tropical Depression 17 forms in the Atlantic.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Tropical Depression 17 has formed in the Atlantic and will likely become Tropical Storm Paulette on Monday.

It's not expected to affect the United States during the next five days.

Another disturbance behind TD17, which is just off the African coast has a 90 percent chance of cyclone formation during the next 48 hours.

If TD17 does become Paulette, that would set the record for the earliest "P" named storm on record, beating out Hurricane Philippe in 2011.

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Fortunately for residents across the Caribbean, TS17 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.

The second area of concern, the disturbance off the African coast 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.

Most model guidance suggests it will become a tropical depression by the middle of the week, strengthening further and eventually becoming Tropical Storm Rene over the open waters of the central Atlantic and it could become a hurricane later in the week.

Having this many systems developing at once is not unusual for this time of year. The middle of September is the peak of 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.

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AccuWeather contributed to this report.