Wind shear, merger with cold front, spell end of Tropical Storm Philippe

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Tropical Storm Philippe, the 16th named storm and 18th tropical system of the 2017 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season, is no more, the National Hurricane Center declared Sunday afternoon (Oct. 29).

Blame a deadly combination of high upper level wind shear — close to 60 mph — and the overtaking of a strong low pressure cold front for Philippe losing its tropical characteristics, said Senior Hurricane Specialist Stacy Stewart in a last forecast discussion message issued at 4 p.m.

The well-defined low level circulation Tropical Storm Philippe had contained on Sunday morning had been stretched and elongated north to south along the frontal zone, and the two were merging, Stewart said.

Radar loop shows the gathering storminess hitting much of the central Atlantic and Northeastern coast being caused by a developing low pressure system, fed by the remnants of Tropical Storm Philippe. 

As that process continues, the heat and deep thunderstorm convection that is the remainder of Philippe “will likely be drawn into a larger extratropical low pressure that is developing near the outer banks of North Carolina, aiding in that intensification process,” he said.

As a result, he warned interests along the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coasts to closely monitor forecast information issued by local National Weather Service offices.

The center of Philippe’s remains were located about 290 miles south of Cape Hatteras, N.C., with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, and were moving north northeast at 46 mph. Tropical-storm-force winds still extended outward up to 230 miles from the center.

Gale warnings were in effect along the Outer Banks with a coastal flood advisory in Nag’s Head. A high wind warning was issued for New York City, Long Island and southern Connecticut through early Monday. Similar warnings were in effect for Boston and Cape Cod in Massachusetts and for the Rhode Island coast.

In Portland, Maine, forecasters warned of hurricane-force wind gusts through 8 a.m. Monday. 

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