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Atlantic Ocean staying busy: Tropical Storm Paulette forms; forecasters eye other trouble spots

Atlantic ocean

The bustling Atlantic basin isn’t taking a Labor Day breather: One depression intensified Monday into a tropical storm, and forecasters are tracking multiple areas that could spin up trouble in a record-breaking hurricane season.

“The eastern Atlantic is going to become quite active during the next few days,” AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski said.

Tropical Storm Paulette formed in the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. “Modest strengthening” was expected over the next few days as the storm, located about 1,205 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands, moves toward the west-northwest.

Forecasters were also watching a tropical depression that formed off the coast of western Africa Monday morning. The depression had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and was moving to the west at 12 mph; it was also expected to strengthen into a tropical storm.

Forecasters are also eyeing a weak tropical wave over the Caribbean Sea, a strong tropical wave expected to emerge off the African coast late in the week and a trough of low-pressure southeast of Bermuda, Accuweather said.

September is the peak month of hurricane season. The most active day of the year is around Sept. 10 – Thursday – on average, according to

Tropical storms and hurricanes can form anywhere in the Atlantic Ocean this time of year, and an estimated 71% of hurricane activity is still yet to come, said.

Predictions of an active hurricane season have been more than met: The 2020 hurricane season tally now includes 16 named storms and five hurricanes – Hanna, Isaias, Laura, Marco, and Nana.

Hurricane Laura was the most lethal, roaring ashore on the border of Texas and Louisiana as a Category 4 storm on Aug. 27. The storm pulverized buildings, severed power lines, clogged streets with debris, and left at least 25 people dead.

The next tropical storm names on the list for 2020 in the Atlantic are Paulette and Rene.


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