Tropical Storm Sally moves into Gulf off Florida's coast; Paulette becomes a hurricane

We officially have our 18th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

Tropical Depression 19 strengthened into Tropical Storm Sally on Saturday packing maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. Sally is expected to bring heavy rain to parts of central and South Florida this weekend.

Sally is forecasted to strengthen into a hurricane early next week as it moves across the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. 

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the west side of the Florida peninsula. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for coastal Louisiana and Mississippi.


 TRACK THE TROPICS: Visit the FOX 35 Orlando Hurricane Center for the latest in the tropics, including daily updates, live radar, and severe weather alerts

Meanwhile, FOX 35 News is tracking five other systems in the Atlantic. 

Tropical Storm Paulette became a hurricane on Saturday night.

Paulette now has wind gusts up to 75 mph.

It is not impacting the Sunshine State.

Tropical Storm Rene weakened to a depression. The system is not expected to restrengthen as it moves toward the northwest. 

A surface trough over the north-central Gulf of Mexico is producing disorganized showers and a few thunderstorms. 

Get the news you need: Sign up for the FOX 35 Newsletters

"Some slow development of this system is possible while it moves westward and then southwestward over the northern and western Gulf of Mexico through the middle of next week," the NHC says, giving it a 30-percent chance of developing over the next five days. 

RELATED: Greek Alphabet will be used if hurricane names run out 

On Saturday afternoon, FOX 35 Meteorologist Allison Gargaro said Tropical Depression 20 formed in the Atlantic.

She said it is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane by Tuesday afternoon. However, it is not expected to impact Florida.

Forecasters have predicted that this season will have more activity than normal. For example, NOAA predicted an above-average season, with 13 to 19 named storms. Six to 10 of those would become hurricanes and three to six of those are forecasted to become major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).  

In comparison, the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season had 18 named storms, matching 1969 for the fourth most-lively season in the past 150 years. 

Hurricane season runs through November 30. 

Download the FOX 35 Weather App to track the tropics on your phone, receive severe weather alerts, and get the latest daily forecasts.