Tropical Storm Philippe made landfall in Barbuda on Monday evening about 6 p.m. with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.
The storm is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane later this week with top winds of 75 mph.
The storm is moving northwest at 7 mph with tropical-storm-force winds extended out 175 miles.
The NHC said that Philippe’s strongest winds and heavy rains will likely occur after the center passes the island.
The storm could bring heavy rains and flooding to portions of the eastern Caribbean. Tropical storm warnings have been issued for Antigua and Barbuda, the National Hurricane Center said.
After the storm passes near Barbuda it will arc to the north and eventually northeast and become a hurricane by late Thursday or early Friday, at which point it should be traveling southeast of Bermuda and headed into the Atlantic.
The far eastern Caribbean could get 4 to 6 inches of rain. The northern Leeward Islands were forecast to get 2 to 4 inches of rain. There is potential for isolated flooding, according to the latest advisory.
Swells from Philippe will affect parts of the northern Leeward Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and could cause dangerous rip currents and surf, according to the NHC.
Philippe and Rina had interacted last week in an uncommon phenomenon in the Atlantic known as the Fujiwhara Effect, where two tropical cyclones start to spin around a common point, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“Two storms closer in strength can gravitate towards each other until they reach a common point and merge, or merely spin each other around for a while before shooting off on their own paths,” the National Hurricane Center said. Rarely, it can create one larger storm rather than two smaller ones.
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.
The next named storm will be Sean.
Hurricane season officially runs through Nov. 30.
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