For the second time in less than a month the Canadian Maritimes and the US New England region are facing the risk of another tropical threat.
Tropical Storm Philippe, which has spent the last week and half meandering through the Atlantic, is now forecast to move north and potentially come ashore somewhere between Maine’s southern coast and central Nova Scotia.
Philippe has already drenched the US and British Virgin Islands with heavy rain and could even bring up to four inches across Puerto Rico in the next day, the US National Hurricane Center said. The storm’s winds topped out at 45 miles per hour early Wednesday.
For the next few days it will move back into the open Atlantic, strengthening as it moves north and its winds could reach 60 mph, the center said. Then early Sunday it will approach the coast of New England and the Maritimes. While it may not be a pure tropical system by that time, it will still be a potent storm capable of whipping the region with high winds and flooding rains.
In September, Hurricane Lee also skirted the US East Coast eventually coming ashore in Nova Scotia as a post-tropical cyclone bringing widespread power outages as it did.
Meanwhile in the Pacific, Typhoon Koinu’s winds have strengthened to 133 miles per hour on the US scale, making it a Category 4 storm on the five-step, Saffir-Simpson scale, the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center said. It is forecast to hit southern Taiwan in the next day.
In other weather news:
Air: Wildfire smoke from Canada, as well as some local fires, has dropped air quality across parts of the US Gulf Coast and Florida, with levels mainly in the moderate range rising unhealthy concentrations in some areas. The National Weather Service in Melbourne, Florida tracked the smoke out of Quebec as it drifted south into the US, where it has been a health issue for a variety of areas including New York City last June.
Australia: A powerful low pressure system is bringing severe thunderstorms, flooding and damaging winds across southeastern Australia, said Sarah Scully, a forecaster with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Mount Hotham, a resort area in Victoria, got 22.7 centimeters (nearly 9 inches) of rain Wednesday, Scully said in a video briefing. A flood watch has been issued for parts of Victoria and New South Wales.
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