Tropical Storm “Philippe” threatens Leeward Islands with heavy rains and flooding

tropical storm philippe 1150z october 2 2023

The center of Tropical Storm “Philippe” is expected to pass near or just northeast of the northern Leeward Islands later today and tonight (LT), threatening the region with heavy rains and flooding.

At 12:00 UTC on Monday, October 2, 2023, Philippe’s center was located about 155 km (95 miles) ESE of Barbuda. It had maximum sustained winds of 85 km/h (50 mph) and a minimum central pressure of 998 hPa.

Philippe is moving toward the WNW near 11 km/h (7 mph), and a NW motion is expected to resume later today through early Tuesday. A turn toward the NNW is forecast to occur by late Tuesday, October 3, followed by a northward motion on Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of Philippe is expected to pass near or just northeast of the northern Leeward Islands later today and tonight.

Little change in strength is forecast during the next day or so, but Philippe could begin to intensify more significantly around the middle of the week.

tropical storm philippe nhc fcst track 12z october 2 2023
tropical storm philippe 1150z october 2 2023 bg
Tropical Storm “Philippe” at 11:50 UTC on October 2, 2023. Credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

“The overall structure of Philippe has changed very little during the past day or so,” NHC forecaster Brown noted. “Radar imagery from Barbados shows very heavy rainfall is occurring just east of the Lesser Antilles. Philippe is forecast to move around the southwestern portion of a mid-level ridge over the subtropical Atlantic during the next couple of days. After that time, Philippe should turn northward between the aforementioned ridge and a mid- to upper-level trough over the southwestern Atlantic. Around day 5, there is increasing uncertainty as to whether Philippe will turn east-northeastward or continue on a more northerly trajectory ahead of a large trough moving into the eastern United States.”

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Antigua and Barbuda. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch areas beginning later today. Interests elsewhere in the northern Leeward Islands should monitor the progress of this system.

Philippe is forecast to produce the following rainfall amounts through Tuesday:

Barbuda and Antigua: 100 to 150 mm (4 to 6 inches)
Rest of Leeward Islands: 50 to 100 mm (2 to 4 inches)

This rainfall may result in isolated to scattered flash flooding, NHC warns.

Swells generated by Philippe will affect portions of the Atlantic coasts of the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico through midweek. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.


1 Tropical Storm Philippe – Intermediate Advisory Number 36A – NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL172023 – 800 AM AST Mon Oct 02 2023

Featured image: Tropical Storm “Philippe” at 11:50 UTC on October 2, 2023. Credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

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