Another Rare New England Storm: Philippe Threatens Weekend Mess Even As A Post-Tropical System


Topline

Post-tropical storm Philippe is expected to make landfall this weekend in Maine as the second system to directly impact New England this year, bringing heavy rain and gusty wind to a region not familiar with successive storms.

Key Facts

Philippe, the 16th named storm of the season, is moving steadily north at 16 mph, carrying maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center, which warns it will bring “strong winds and heavy rainfall” throughout New England and eastern Canada despite losing tropical characteristics Friday.

Forecasters also warn heavy rain from the storm could trigger flash flooding, while meteorologists at AccuWeather warn residents to prepare for a “winter-style storm” as it interacts with a cold front, bringing cooler temperatures to the region at the peak of foliage season.

The storm, which is roughly 100 miles south of Bermuda, is expected to make landfall early Sunday morning just west of the U.S.-Canada border in coastal Maine, less than a month after the remnants of once-powerful Hurricane Lee slammed Maine, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada as a rare northeastern post-tropical cyclone, causing widespread power outages and coastal flooding.

Small craft advisories and gale warnings are in effect off the coast of Maine, south to North Carolina as of Friday afternoon.

What To Watch For

The cold front interacting with Philippe will deliver some of the coolest temperatures of the fall season thus far to much of the Northeast, with places like New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and Hartford, Connecticut, struggling to get out of the 50s on Sunday and Monday, with rainfall likely on Saturday.

Surprising Fact

While tropical storms and depressions are known to occasionally slam New England, hurricanes in the Northeast are much more rare, particularly in Maine, which has not seen a hurricane make landfall since 1969, when Category 1 Hurricane Gerda hit. Most Atlantic storms that approach the Pine Tree State during hurricane season approach as weakened systems, with winds typically less than 74 mph, according to Maine’s Emergency Management Agency.

Big Number

18. That’s how many named tropical storms and hurricanes meteorologists at Colorado State University predicted for the 2023 season, an increase from earlier predictions and more than the average number of named storms recorded per year during the past two decades, as record warm ocean surface temperatures created conditions favorable for hurricane development. There have been 17 named storms so far this year, including six hurricanes, with nearly two months left before the official end of the hurricane season—Tropical Storm Rina formed after Philippe but fizzled out in a remote section of the Atlantic.

Further Reading

Lee Slams Canada And Maine In Rare Northeast Post-Tropical Cyclone (Photos) (Forbes)



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