Tropical Storm Philippe moves near Bermuda and is expected to head toward Canada; new system off Africa could develop

Tropical Storm Philippe is on track to pass near Bermuda on Friday before moving toward eastern New England and Atlantic Canada this weekend, the National Hurricane Center said.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for Bermuda, where tropical storm conditions are expected to start early Friday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters project 2 to 4 inches of rain there through Friday, and large swells from another weather system will further increase overnight as Philippe nears.

Philippe’s maximum sustained winds were holding at 50 mph as of 8 p.m. Eastern time Thursday and are expected to dwindle well below the 74 mph threshold for a Category 1 hurricane by Saturday afternoon. Previous forecasts had Philippe reaching Category 1 strength.

As of 8 p.m., Philippe was about 340 miles south-southwest of Bermuda, moving north at 14 mph. Its tropical-storm-force winds extended 230 miles to the east of the storm’s center, the latest advisory said.

Philippe will move near or slightly west of Bermuda on Friday, then approach Nova Scotia, New Brunswick or eastern Maine on Saturday night before taking a turn toward the north-northwest on Sunday, the hurricane center said.

By the time Philippe moves over parts of Atlantic Canada this weekend, it is likely to be a post-tropical cyclone, forecasters said. Philippe likely will start to lose its tropical characteristics Friday, forecasters said late Thursday afternoon.

Still, Philippe’s intensity isn’t expected to decrease much before the center reaches land, the latest forecast discussion said.

“Weakening is forecast once Philippe moves inland, and it’s likely that the strongest winds from the system will occur on the eastern side of the circulation, primarily over parts of Atlantic Canada,” the hurricane center said.

Hurricane Lee, which became a major hurricane in the Atlantic in early September, caused hurricane and tropical storm watches in parts of Atlantic Canada while it approached the coast and became a post-tropical cyclone before it moved across the region last month.

Swells from Philippe began reaching parts of the southeastern U.S. coast Thursday night and are expected to spread north, up the coast to Canada in the coming days, the latest advisory said. Parts of New York and New England can expect 1 to 3 inches of rain, with up to 5 inches in some areas.

Meanwhile, the hurricane center is watching a new tropical wave expected to move off the west coast of Africa by the weekend, which as of 8 p.m. Thursday is being given a 30% chance of developing over the next week as it moves into the eastern Atlantic.

So far this season in the Atlantic, there have been 16 named storms, six of which were hurricanes. Of those, three were major hurricanes, meaning Category 3 or above.

Those were Hurricane Lee, a rare Category 5; Hurricane Franklin, a Category 4; and Hurricane Idalia, which made landfall on Florida’s Big Bend region at Category 3 strength on Aug. 30.

The next named storm will be Sean.

Hurricane season officially runs through Nov. 30.