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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Philippe to bring heavy rain over the weekend as a tropical depression

By The Star Staff

Tropical Storm Philippe, which formed last week, could bring heavy rain to parts of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico over the weekend, forecasters said.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) estimated that the storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour, with higher gusts. As of Thursday morning, it was about 485 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands in the Caribbean, the NHC said.

The storm is forecast to bring 1 to 3 inches of rain to the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and northern and eastern Puerto Rico from Saturday to Monday. Heavy rainfall from Philippe might cause isolated flooding, forecasters said.

There were no coastal warnings or watches in effect, the NHC said.

The storm was expected to gradually weaken over the next few days, degrading to a tropical depression as it moves slowly northwest, the NHC said.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Rima formed in the mid-Atlantic last week and some scenarios show the storm merging with Philippe, with both storms tracking well to the north of the Leeward islands.

The Atlantic hurricane season started June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

In late May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that there would be 12 to 17 named storms this year, a “near-normal” amount. On Aug. 10, NOAA officials revised their estimate upward, to 14 to 21 named storms.

Tropical disturbances that have sustained winds of at least 39 mph are given a name. Once winds reach 74 mph, a storm becomes a hurricane, and at 111 mph it becomes a major hurricane.

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