The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which has tapered off since this summer, has produced another named storm, the National Hurricane Center reports.
The previously designated Tropical Depression 18 was upgraded and renamed as Tropical Storm Philippe in the hurricane center’s 5 p.m. update.
It is currently moving north\ at 29 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and gusts up to 52 mph. It currently moving over Cuba and is expected to graze the southern tip of Florida before moving into the western Atlantic.
The Lowcountry is not expected to be impacted by the storm, but a cold front moving through the area on Sunday could interact with the system as it moves across the Atlantic, creating gale forced winds and rough seas away from the coast, said Emily Timte, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston.
“As the pressure gradient gets bigger between the two systems, the winds will increase,” said Timte. “We don’t have a gale watch out, but there is potential for some gale force gusts Sunday into Sunday night for the coastal waters.”
Tropical storm warnings have been issued for the Cuban provinces of Isla de la Juventud, La Habana, Ciudad de la Habana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Villa Clara as well as the Northwestern Bahamas. Watches are in effect for portions of southeastern Florida and the upper Florida Keys from Craig Key to Golden Beach, as well as the Central Bahamas.
Philippe is the 16th named storm of the year.