Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, it’s time to pay attention to Tropical Storm Philippe

Tropical Storm Philippe contracted slightly and slowed down a bit as the National Hurricane Center delivered a heads up to the eastern part of the Caribbean. Also, the hurricane center predicts that as Philippe weakens into a depression, the tropical wave behind it will strengthen into a depression.

Here’s the latest from the hurricane center on the Atlantic Ocean weather system activity.

Tropical Storm Philippe keeps moving west

No watches or warnings have been issued, but the hurricane center’s 5 p.m. Wednesday Tropical Storm Philippe advisory did include the pre-watch caution: “Interests in the northern Leeward Islands, the U.S and British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico should monitor the progress of this system.”

Philippe’s maximum sustained winds remained at 50 mph, rising earlier in the day. Its tropical storm force winds now extend to 175 miles from its center, about a 30 mile drop from Wednesday morning.

The storm sits about 600 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands and is moving west-northwest at 5 mph. The long-term projection says if it doesn’t hit Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, it will at least influence the weather in those locations Sunday or Monday.

Eastern Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the northern Leeward Islands should expect two to four inches of rain from Saturday to Monday. Western Puerto Rico is forecast to get one to two inches over that period.

“Little change in strength is forecast the next day or two, with slow weakening forecast this weekend,” forecasters said.

Tropical Storm Philippe’s projected map, 5 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 27.
Tropical Storm Philippe’s projected map, 5 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 27.

What’s happening with the disturbance known as AL91?

The disturbance about halfway between the Cabo Verde Islands and Lesser Antilles should be a tropical depression by Thursday, the 8 p.m. Wednesday advisory said, “while the system moves northwestward across the central tropical Atlantic.”

Formation chance through 48 hours: 90%, the same as the 8 p.m. Tuesday advisory.

Formation chance through seven days: 90%, the same as the 8 p.m. Tuesday advisory.