Tropical Storm Philippe appears to be on a collision course with Bermuda and the U.S. Northeast coast. The latest National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast brings Philippe through Bermuda tomorrow morning and into eastern New England sometime Saturday night or early Sunday morning.
With impacts on Bermuda likely soon, the government there has issued a Tropical Storm Warning. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. No Tropical Storm Watches or Warnings have been used for the U.S. Northeast Coast or Canada’s east coast at this time.
According to the latest update from the NHC, Philippe is located about 430 miles south-southwest of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. It is moving to the north at 13 mph. The minimum central pressure inside the storm is 1005 mb or 29.68″.
While Philippe is moving toward the north for now at 13 mph, the NHC expects it to increase its forward speed and continue heading in the general direction through late Saturday. A turn toward the north-northwest is possible Saturday night or early Sunday. On the forecast track, the center of Philippe will pass near or just west of Bermuda on Friday, and then reach the coast of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, or eastern Maine Saturday night. However, because this track has evolved many times before, residents throughout the northeastern U.S. should continue to monitor the system until it passes for any jogs or shifts to the west.
The NHC says that there is little change in strength forecast during the next day or two. Some strengthening is possible Friday night or Saturday, but Philippe is expected to become a post-tropical cyclone on Saturday as it approaches Atlantic Canada and eastern New England.
Large swells are already affecting Bermuda from another weather system but will begin to increase further later today as Philippe approaches the island. Swells are also reaching portions of the southeastern U.S. coast and will spread northward along the east coast to Atlantic Canada during the next couple of days. These conditions are likely to cause life threatening surf and rip currents. Swimmers and surfers, even those that consider themselves to be experts, should avoid the ocean until the threats and hazards from Philippe pass.