Tropical Storm Philippe forecast to strengthen; Atlantic system may become tropical depression

Robin Webb and Shira Moolten, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in Weather News

Tropical Storm Phillippe is expected to gradually gain strength and a new system that emerged off Africa could become a tropical depression by midweek, according to National Hurricane Center forecasters.

As of 5 a.m. Sunday, Phillipe was located about 1,155 miles west of Africa’s Cabo Verde Islands, moving west at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. The same general motion, but slightly slower, is expected over the next few days as the storm gradually strengthens.

However, it is currently expected to curve north before reaching South Florida.

“While it shows a due-west path, there is expected to be a curve to the north,” said Donal Harrigan, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service Miami. “There’s tons of uncertainty as to how far west or east we’ll go with that curve. I’m not seeing anything that raises a large concern of something reaching South Florida. It looks like this thing is going to stay east of us.”

Tropical-storm-force-winds extend outwards up to 90 miles from Phillipe’s center.

Meanwhile, the tropical wave that emerged off Africa was producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms and it could develop into a tropical depression by midweek, forecasters said. As of 8 a.m. Sunday, National Hurricane Center forecasters had given it a 40% chance of developing within the next seven days and a 10% chance within the next two days.

Ophelia, which made landfall over North Carolina as a tropical storm and brought rainy stormy weather there earlier this weekend, crossed into Virginia late Saturday afternoon. Ophelia was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone by 11 p.m. Saturday, at which point the National Hurricane Center ceased issuing advisories.


Ophelia weakened further Sunday as it moved over the Delmarva Peninsula.

The next named storm would be Rina.

So far this season in the Atlantic, there have been 16 named storms, six of which were hurricanes. Of those, three were major hurricanes, meaning Category 3 or above.

Those were Hurricane Lee, a rare Category 5; Hurricane Franklin, a Category 4; and Hurricane Idalia, which made landfall on Florida’s Big Bend region at Category 3 strength on Aug. 30.

Hurricane season officially runs through Nov. 30.

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