As TS Philippe heads north, it leaves a calling card of heavy rain
By The Star Staff
Tropical Storm Philippe was located northeast of Puerto Rico on Wednesday, but its outer bands can produce downpours, both scattered and intense, in the coming days due to their indirect effects, as explained by Bureau of Emergency Management and Disaster Administration (NMEAD) Commissioner Nino Correa Filomeno and the warnings coordinator of the National Meteorological Service, Ernesto Morales, who clarified that there is no type of tropical storm watch for the island.
“Philippe has been an erratic system in terms of its path, and that is why we have kept an eye on the development of this now tropical storm. But we have seen that people in social media are misinforming the public, so we call for calm,” Correa Filomeno said in a written statement. “Thank God, Philippe continues its track north and we will not have a direct impact. Yes, we will have bands of rainfall associated with a mass of moisture related to this storm, but it will not affect us directly.”
Morales reiterated that “Tropical Storm Philippe is already northeast of Puerto Rico.”
“We do have a mass of moisture that will be affecting us in the next 24 to 36 hours, and two to four inches of rain are forecast to fall in the next four to five days,” he said. “The whole island will see cloudiness and isolated rains, with some cases of heavier downpours, but they would be isolated cases.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Philippe was centered near 21.2N 65.7W, or 170 nautical miles (nm) NNW of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, moving NNW at 6 knots. Estimated minimum central pressure was 1004 mb. Maximum sustained wind speed was 40 knots with gusts to 50 knots. The center was partially exposed about 60 nm to the north of numerous strong to scattered moderate showers and thunderstorms. Scattered showers and thunderstorms were also evident within 75 to 90 nm to the northeast of the center.
Associated heavy rainfall was expected to produce flash flooding across portions of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico through Wednesday. Seas in excess of 12 feet were noted within 180 nautical miles to the north of the center and within 60 nautical miles to the south of center, with peak seas to 18 feet.
Philippe was expected to pick up speed moving northward Wednesday night, maintaining tropical storm strength.
Tropical storm conditions are possible on Bermuda beginning Friday morning, and a Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for the island.
The NMEAD commissioner took the opportunity to remind the public that the hurricane season is not over, so everyone in Puerto Rico must all be attentive to the development of any system and to have their emergency plans ready, both at the individual, family and community level.
He also noted that in case of any emergency situation, the Emergency Operations Center (COE by its Spanish initials) is to be activated, where there is presence of all government agencies represented by their interagency coordinators. These people are appointed by the heads of a given agency, and represent those agencies when coordinating any assistance. Requests from mayors, shelters, other agencies, and citizens themselves reach the COE, where each interagency coordinator of the agency that corresponds to that COE is activated.
Likewise, Correa Filomeno and the Public Safety Secretary Alexis Torres stressed that the department’s bureaus and the NMEAD operational zones are activated to attend any emergency. The NMEAD is in constant communication with the Municipal Emergency Management Offices of all municipalities, the Coast Guard, federal agencies and municipal police.
For more information, access the manejodeemergencias.pr.gov page and their social networks. To report any emergency, call or text 9-1-1 for assistance from the appropriate agencies.