Tropical Storm Philippe moved toward the Northern Leeward Islands on Wednesday. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Philippe was located at latitude 18.2°N and longitude 54.5°W which put it about 565 miles (910 km) east of the Northern Leeward Islands. Philippe was moving toward the northwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.
Tropical Storm Philippe continued to be affected by strong vertical wind shear on Wednesday. An upper level trough over the eastern Caribbean Sea was producing southwesterly winds that were blowing toward the top of Philippe’s circulation. Those winds were causing strong vertical wind shear. The wind shear was causing the distribution of thunderstorms in Tropical Storm Philippe to be asymmetrical. Most of the thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the eastern side of Philippe’s circulation. Bands near the center of Tropical Storm Philippe and in the western half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. The distribution of wind speeds was also asymmetrical. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 170 miles (275 km) in the eastern side of Philippe’s circulation. The winds in the western side of Tropical Storm Philippe were blowing at less than tropical storm force.
Tropical Storm Philippe will move through a region unfavorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Philippe will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28°C. However, the upper level trough over the eastern Caribbean Sea will continue to cause strong vertical wind shear. The strong wind shear is likely to keep Tropical Storm Philippe from intensifying on Thursday.
Tropical Storm Philippe will move around the southern side of a high pressure system over the central Atlantic Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Philippe toward the west-northwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track, Tropical Storm Philippe could approach the Northern Leeward Islands during the weekend.