Tropical Storm Philippe weakened slightly Monday afternoon ahead of its projected northwest turn in the open waters of the Atlantic, and a tropical depression is likely to form from a system that is not far behind Philippe.
Showers and thunderstorms associated with a system off Africa increased Monday night, and forecasters expect it to develop into a tropical depression within two or three days, the National Hurricane Center said. It will move west-northwest across the central Atlantic.
As of 8 p.m. Eastern time Monday, the system had a 90% chance of developing within seven days and 60% chance in the next two days.
Philippe, meanwhile, was located about 1,080 miles east of the far eastern Caribbean, moving west at 15 mph as of 5 p.m. Monday. Philippe is expected to turn to the west-northwest by Monday night and then curve northwest by the middle of the week, away from South Florida.
Philippe’s winds have weakened to 45 mph, and the wind shear impacting its strength is expected to remain or increase in the next few days, forecasters said in the latest’s advisory. Some models predict Philippe to slightly strengthen in the next two to three days as it traverses warm water, but it faces unfavorable conditions otherwise.
As a result, National Hurricane Center forecasters do not expect Philippe to change in strength in the coming days.
“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 extended outward up to 115 miles from Philippe’s center.
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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