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Tropical Storm Philippe Should Pass North of V.I. by Wednesday

Sept. 18, 2005 –– Tropical Depression 17 became Tropical Storm Philippe late Saturday, but forecasters Sunday still thought the storm would pass to the northeast of the territory.
Walter Snell, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in San Juan, said the storm should pass about 300 miles northeast of the Virgin Islands Tuesday into Wednesday.
"With it that far away, I don't think you'll get much weather," he said.
However, the Virgin Islands should get some waves on northeast facing coasts. And, he said the wind should come out of the west rather than the usual east.
As of the 5 p.m. update, Tropical Storm Philippe is centered at 15.9 degrees north latitude and 55.9 degrees west longitude. This places it about 400 miles east of the Leeward Islands.
The storm has winds of 50 mph with gusts to 65 mph. Tropical storm force winds extend outward 80 miles from the center.
Tropical Storm Philippe is expected to become a hurricane Monday.
It is moving to the north-northwest at 8 mph.
The barometric pressure stands at 1000 millibars or 29.52 inches.
Meanwhile, Tropical Depression 18 formed Sunday morning but became Tropical Storm Rita by the 5 p.m. update. Its track takes it through the Bahamas and south of Florida.
Snell said Sunday afternoon he had just received an advisory about a tropical wave located around 11 degrees north latitude and 37 degrees west longitude.
That's too far away to say where it will track or how strong it will get, but Snell said computer models send it toward the Leeward and Windward Islands by Friday or Saturday.
William Gray and his hurricane prediction team at Colorado State University think this hurricane season will see 20 named storms.
Tropical Storm Rita is the 17th, leaving three to go. This season also saw Tropical Depression 10, which did not develop into a named storm.
If Gray is correct with his prediction, those remaining storms will be named Stan, Tammy and Vince. There is no storm that starts with the letters Q, U or X.
The list has one more name, Wilma.
So far this year, Hurricane Katrina, which battered Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana coasts, wreaking havoc in New Orleans, was the worst. During its week-long run, it hit winds of 175 mph.
Hurricane season runs June 1 through Nov. 30.

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