Tropical Storm Philippe is highly likely to pass by Antigua and Barbuda, as a result of which, the nation has been put on alert. To be precise, Antigua and Barbuda is now under a Tropical Storm Watch due to Philippe’s current trajectory.
The Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services issued a statement recently, “Philippe is forecast to pass near Antigua and Barbuda; hence, it poses an elevated threat with the potential to cause limited impacts from storm-force winds, extensive marine impacts from hazardous seas and moderate flooding, resulting in life-threatening conditions.”
While it might seem innocuous to some, the Meteorological Services have asked citizens to implement their hurricane season plans immediately to ensure their own safety.
As of 2pm Tropical Storm Philippe was 355 km east-south-east of Barbuda with winds that were near 50 mph or 85 kmph.
Going by the latest reports, Philippe is moving in a west-northwest direction at a pace of 7 mph or 11kmph.
According to the Meteorological Services, Tropical Storm Philippe is expected to arrive as early as Monday and bring with it storm conditions which are likely to have an impact on the coastal regions first and foremost.
Having said that, authorities have suggested that storm conditions are expected to dissipate after Tuesday.
These developments have surprised quite a few people considering the fact that the reports about Philippe were quite positive on the 25th of September and there about. It was reported that Philippe was progressing westward at a rate of 15 miles per hour.
No advisories or warnings were issued in the Caribbean and the general consensus was that Tropical Storm Philippe wouldn’t make landfall anywhere. In fact, it was believed that it was unlikely to even come close to land.
Around September 25th, by all accounts, Philippe was meant to stay at sea for 3-4 days before fizzling out. A few days later it was said that Philippe was changing its trajectory and getting slightly closer to the eastern Caribbean region than expected earlier.
Even at that point, no advisory or warning was placed as the authorities were positive that the storm was unlikely to be a major concern to citizens.
As of October 1st though, the narrative has pivoted more than Philippe has. Now Philippe is being considered a genuine threat to life and a cause of concern for authorities and citizens alike.
A lot of the nervousness around Philippe stems from the fact that another slight change in its direction could make matters far worse for Antigua and Barbuda.
Previous reports suggesting that Philippe was slowing down and losing intensity have now been tossed out of the window. As of now, if Philippe passes by, causing very little damage and no loss of life, that would be a brilliant scenario.
While the likelihood of it making landfall is still not immensely high, Philippe’s unpredictability makes it a dark horse that can’t be pinned down.