MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The tropics remain active and Paulette looks to become a hurricane by this weekend.
Tropical Storm Paulette
At 5:00 AM, the center of Tropical Storm Paulette was located near latitude 23.1 North, longitude 51.7 West. Paulette is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph. A motion toward the northwest is expected for the next few days. On the forecast track, the center of Paulette should approach Bermuda Sunday night and Monday. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is expected today. Gradual strengthening is expected to begin tonight or on Saturday, and Paulette is forecast to become a hurricane this weekend. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 991 mb.
Tropical Storm Rene
At 5:00 AM, the center of Tropical Storm Rene was located near latitude 19.7 North, longitude 38.5 West. Rene is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph. This general motion is expected to continue through Friday night, followed by a turn toward the northwest on Saturday. A north-northwestward and northward motion with a decrease in forward speed is forecast Sunday and Sunday night. Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast during the couple of days. Afterward, weakening is expected to begin by Sunday night. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1002 mb.
AREAS OF INTEREST
A surface trough of low pressure located over the northwestern Bahamas is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms that extend from the northwestern and central Bahamas eastward a few hundred miles over the western Atlantic. This system is forecast to move westward at about 10 mph, crossing the Bahamas and Florida today and tonight and moving into the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Saturday. Upper-level winds are expected to become conducive for development, and a tropical depression could form while this system moves slowly west-northwestward over the eastern Gulf of Mexico this weekend and early next week. Regardless of development, this system is expected to produce locally heavy rainfall over portions of the Bahamas, South Florida, and the Florida Keys during the next couple of days. The chance of development is at 40% over the next two days and 60% over the next five days.
Another trough of low pressure is located over the north-central Gulf of Mexico. Although the associated shower and thunderstorm activity is currently minimal, some slow development of this system is possible while it moves westward and then southwestward over the northern and western Gulf of Mexico through early next week. The chance of development is at 10% over the next two days and 30% over the next five days.
A tropical wave is located a few hundred miles south of the Cabo Verde Islands and is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Development of this system is forecast, and a tropical depression is expected to form within the next few days while the system moves generally westward at 15 to 20 mph across the eastern and central tropical Atlantic. The chance of development is high over the next 48 hours at 70% and at 90% over the next five days.
Another large area of disturbed weather associated with a tropical wave is beginning to move off the west coast of Africa. Environmental conditions appear conducive for development during the next few days, and a tropical depression could form over the far eastern tropical Atlantic early next week while the system moves slowly westward. Upper-level winds could become less conducive for development by Monday or Tuesday. The chance of development over the next 48 hours is at 10% and higher over the next five days at 40%.