Hurricane Philippe was the sixteenth named storm, and the ninth hurricane of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, forming from a tropical wave that exited the African coast on September 9. Philippe formed east of the Lesser Antilles on September 17, and after forming it moved north, away from the islands, strengthening as it did so. On September 18, Philippe became a hurricane, and stayed one for two days before weakening back to a tropical storm, due to strong upper-level wind shear over the system, thanks to a non-tropical low. As Philippe looped around this low, it continued to weaken, and was absorbed by the low on September 23.
|Formation||September 17, 2005|
|Dissipation||September 23, 2005|
|Highest winds||80 mph|
|Lowest pressure||985 mbar|
On September 9, a tropical wave exicted the African coast and headed west into the Atlantic Ocean. On September 13, the wave started to become more organized, and at that point, the National Hurricane Center watched it closely for further development. On September 17, Tropical Depression Seventeen formed from the wave, while located 350 miles east of Barbados. After forming, the depression strengthened further to become Tropical Storm Philippe on the evening of September 17. Official forecasts called for Philippe to move north of the Lesser Antilles islands, despite climatology suggesting an impact there. Philippe followed the official forecast and moved northward, away from the islands. Philippe continued to steadily strengthen, become a Category 1 hurricane late on September 18, due to moving into a low-shear environment, as well as warm SSTs. At this point, some computer models suggested that this strengthening trend could go on, and that Philippe could attain major hurricane status. However, Philippe began to encounter higher wind shear from an upper-level low, the development which can be partially attributed to the outflow of Hurricane Rita. Philippe only managed to reach a peak of 80 mph, thanks to the shear, and it weakened back to a tropical storm on September 20, due to the strong upper-level shear.
After weakening, Philippe headed north, skirting the upper-level low that was shearing it, and it continued to weaken gradually as it did so. The official forecast did not predict this, mainly because some computer models were consistent with predicting that Philippe would reintensify into a hurricane. Philippe looped around the center of the upper-level low, weakening as it did so. As Philippe moved towards Bermuda, it weakened to a tropical depression on September 22. The depression degenerated into a remnant area of low pressure, and continued to loop cyclonically, and it could be tracked further for a day or two, embedded within the circulation of the non-tropical system that caused it its demise.
On September 23, a Tropical Storm Warning was issued for the island of Bermuda, in anticipation of Philippe. This warning proved unnecessary when Philippe dissipated well to the south of the island.
Also, despite forming fairly close to the Lesser Antilles, no watches or warnings were issued, due to the official forecast calling for Philippe to stay east of the islands. Philippe never affected any land areas, and no damage was reported. Also, it caused no reported fatalities.
Naming and Records
When Tropical Storm Philippe formed on September 17, it was the earliest ever that the sixteenth storm in the Atlantic basin had formed, beating the previous record held by Storm 16 of the 1933 Atlantic hurricane season by 10 days. Philippe was only the third named storm of an Atlantic hurricane season to start with the letter "P", the others being Tropical Storm Pablo in the 1995 Atlantic hurricane season, and Tropical Storm Peter in the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season. Due to the lack of any effects from Philippe, the name was not retired by the World Meteorological Organization in the Spring of 2006, thus it is on the list of names to be used in the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season.