Major flooding occurred in Dominica and Guadeloupe on October 2 and 3, 2023, as Tropical Storm Philippe’s tail brought torrential rains to the northern Leeward Islands.
Tropical Storm “Philippe” — which formed 10 days ago — deviated from its initial forecasted trajectory, causing extensive flooding and tropical storm conditions in parts of the northern Leeward Islands, particularly Dominica and Guadeloupe.
On October 3, 2023, the storm brought its dangerous tail into the region, leading to up to 203 mm (8 inches) of rain.
🔴 Vigilance rouge en #Guadeloupe en raison des pluies diluviennes et orageuses générées par la tempête #Philippe 🌀— Actus Meteo (@actus_meteo) October 3, 2023
💦Cumuls mesurés au cours des 6 dernières heures :
314 mm à Vieux-Fort
169.3 mm à Baillif
109.5 mm à Saint-Claude
Vidéo à la Marina de Riviere Sens / Gourbeyre pic.twitter.com/bvpAm4nTn9
“Though Philippe’s journey isn’t over, the forecast track has exhibited one of the higher errors for any storm in recent memory, challenging other difficult forecasts like Wanda in 2021 and Joaquin in 2015 (though not as severe as Cristobal in 2014),” said Michael Lowry from Eye on the Tropics
The National Hurricane Center (NHC), which generally experiences a 5-day track forecast error of approximately 306 km (190 miles), saw this value nearly double for Philippe to about 724 km (450 miles).
As the storm moved northwest on October 2, the storm’s heaviest rain and winds, which were mostly displaced to its south and east, began to impact the northern Leeward Islands. In Dominica and Guadeloupe, this led to severe flooding conditions.
Moving forward, Philippe is anticipated to accelerate northward away from the Caribbean later this week. While there is potential for the storm to strengthen, it is expected to cap its intensity primarily as a strong tropical storm. Bermuda has been advised to monitor the forecasts closely, considering the previous track errors and possible westward shifts.
At 12:00 UTC on October 3, the center of Philippe was located about 60 km (40 miles) NW of Anguilla and 90 km (55 miles) E of Anegada, British Virgin Islands.
The system had maximum sustained winds of 85 km/h (50 mph) and minimum central pressure of 1 001 hPa. It was moving NW at 17 km/h (10 mph). A turn toward the north-northwest is forecast by tonight, followed by a northward motion on Wednesday.
Flooding rains continue over the portions of the Northern Leeward Islands and the Leeward Islands, NHC said.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Barbuda and Anguilla and a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the British Virgin Islands.
On the forecast track, the center of Philippe is expected to move north of the Leeward Islands today. However, the strongest winds and heaviest rains will likely occur in the islands to the south of the center.
Philippe is forecast to produce the following rainfall amounts into early Wednesday:
- Barbuda southward to Dominica: 100 – 200 mm (4 to 8 inches)
- Rest of Leeward Islands and northern Windward Islands: 75 to 130 mm (3 to 5 inches)
- Virgin Islands: 25 to 75 mm (1 to 3 inches)
This rainfall is expected to result in scattered flash flooding.
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 Major Flooding Ongoing Across Dominica and Guadeloupe from Philippe – Michel Lowry/Eye of the Tropics – October 3, 2023
2 Tropical Storm Philippe – Intermediate Advisory Number 40A – NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL172023 – 800 AM AST Tue Oct 03 2023
Featured image: Tropical Storm “Philippe” at 11:20 UTC on October 3, 2023. Credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers
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