Weather deteriorates in South Florida as TS Philippe approaches
Tropical Storm Philippe continued its wet ways with South Florida as the disorganized, but rainy system, promised more of what it delivered all day through the night and into Sunday morning.
As of the 11 p.m. advisory, The National Hurricane Center said the poorly organized Philippe’s center was approaching the Florida Keys as heavy rains washed over Central Cuba, South Florida and the Northwestern Bahamas.
The storm had steadily slowed throughout the day, from 29 mph at the 5 p.m. advisory, when the center upgraded the depression to a named storm, to 28 mph at 8 p.m.
By 11, Philippe lost more forward momentum. The storm approached within 25 miles northwest of Key West at 24 mph.
Maximum sustained winds were still 40 mph.
While the system was still a depression Saturday afternoon, it spawned a small, brief tornado that touched down just northeast of the intersection of Bird Road and Southwest 97th Avenue in Miami. Isolated tornadoes are a possibility through Sunday morning.
South Florida remained in the cone of concern, with heavy rainfall expected into early Sunday.
On the forecast track, the center of Philippe is predicted to move off of the northern coast of Cuba and into the Florida Straits through the evening. The storm will then move across the Florida Keys or the southern tip of the Florida peninsula overnight, and across the northwestern Bahamas Sunday morning, the center said in its advisory.
At a briefing on Saturday evening, the National Weather Service warned that Philippe’s tropical storm force winds were expected along the east coastal areas of Miami-Dade, which would include Miami Beach. Hazardous marine conditions were expected to continue through Sunday.
A tropical storm warning was issued for the Atlantic waters of South Florida by the National Weather Service. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Miami, Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, Perrine and Princeton.
Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, mainland Monroe and Collier counties are under a flood watch, with two to four inches of rain expected — potentially six inches.
The tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 105 miles, mainly to the east and southeast of the center.
Sunday is expected to be dry and breezy.