Tropical Storm Philippe and Tropical Storm Rina are causing a puzzling situation for the National Hurricane Center (NHC) as they are currently located within 500 miles of each other. Philippe, located about 475 miles east of the Caribbean’s northern Leeward Islands, is moving west-southwest at 5 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. Its path is expected to continue westward through Saturday night and then gradually turn toward the west and northwest on Sunday and Sunday night.
Moreover, Philippe is also expected to strengthen during the next few days. The storm’s tropical-storm-force winds extend out to 140 miles, bringing heavy surf and rip conditions to the Atlantic-facing coasts of the northern Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
However, Philippe’s future movement is uncertain due to its proximity to Tropical Storm Rina, which is located to the east. The exact track of Philippe is unclear because of this. Previously, Philippe had shown signs of losing its tropical characteristics, but it is now forecasted to remain a tropical storm and could potentially even become a hurricane. The official intensity forecast for Philippe remains conservative, but adjustments are becoming more likely.
On the other hand, Rina is located about 1,005 miles east of the northern Leewards and is moving northwest at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. Rina is expected to have a slightly faster northwestward motion in the next couple of days before turning toward the north-northwest by Monday. Little change in strength is forecasted for Rina in the next day or so, followed by gradual weakening through early next week.
The intensity forecast for Rina is complex and unclear, with most models indicating that Philippe will become the stronger storm. As the two storms diverge, Rina is expected to be sheared and weaken. However, there is still uncertainty in the track forecast for Rina in the latter part of the forecast period, with a large spread in the model solutions.
Overall, the simultaneous presence of Tropical Storm Philippe and Tropical Storm Rina within a relatively small area is causing a challenging situation for the NHC. The potential paths and intensities of both storms are still uncertain, making it difficult to predict their exact impact. It is crucial for residents in the affected areas to stay updated on the latest forecasts and heed any evacuation or safety warnings from local authorities.
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