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Tropical Storm Philippe approaches Caribbean; Rina weakens

Posted: Sunday, October 1, 2023. 4:41 pm CST.

By Horace Palacio: As per a recent update from the National Hurricane Center and referencing the Orlando Sentinel, Tropical Storm Philippe is edging closer to the Caribbean’s northern Leeward Islands, possibly necessitating tropical storm warnings or watches by Sunday. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Rina appears to be dissipating.

At 11 a.m., Tropical Storm Philippe was situated approximately 180 miles to the east of Guadeloupe and about 230 miles east-southeast of Barbuda. The storm is advancing west at a pace of 7 mph and is clocking maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.

Forecasters from the National Hurricane Center noted, “A west-northwestward to northwestward trajectory is anticipated to commence today and persist into the evening. An augmented forward pace heading northwest is likely on Sunday and Monday, with a northward shift projected for Tuesday.” Based on the current prediction model, Philippe’s center is set to pass in proximity or slightly northeast of the northern Leeward Islands during Monday and Monday night.

Regions within the storm’s 150-mile radius are expected to experience tropical-storm-force winds starting late Sunday, continuing into Monday. As Philippe reroutes, rainfall predictions estimate between 1 to 4 inches over the region. Additionally, forecasters commented on the possibility of some intensification by late Monday once Philippe starts its northern trajectory beyond the Leeward Islands.

Current projections also suggest that the system could mature into the season’s seventh hurricane as it journeys north into the Atlantic. The storm’s swells will persist in ushering turbulent surf and rip currents onto the Atlantic-facing shores of the northern Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico until the early part of next week.

In contrast, Tropical Storm Rina seems to be losing its vigor as it diverts northward in the Atlantic. As of the 5 a.m. update, Rina’s center was pinpointed about 725 miles northeast of the northern Leewards, moving northwest at 15 mph, with wind speeds reaching up to 40 mph within a 70-mile radius.

Forecasters elaborated on Rina’s path, stating, “This direction is anticipated to remain consistent today. A pivot towards the north followed by a shift to the north-northeast is projected for the night and into Monday.” The storm is predicted to weaken considerably over the next day, with expectations that Rina will downgrade to a remnant low either later today or during the night, subsequently dissipating by early Tuesday.

Worth noting is that Rina, which materialized last Thursday, marked the season’s 18th official storm. However, it was only the 17th to be christened, as a subtropical storm in January remained unnamed.

Concurrently, the National Hurricane Center has not identified any other prospective systems in the Atlantic, with the official hurricane season’s culmination just two months away.


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