Tropical Storm Philippe has formed near Cuba

MIAMI - UPDATE 5:00 p.m. : Tropical Storm Philippe has formed near Cuba.  A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for Northwestern Bahamas and the Cuban provinces of Isla de la Juventud, La Habana, Ciudad de la Habana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Villa Clara. 

Heavy rains are expected in Cuba and southern Florida.

Original Story:

An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance plane found a tropical depression formed Saturday morning over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.

The National Hurricane Center issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the Upper Florida Keys and southeast Florida.

As of 2:00 p.m. EDT, Tropical Depression 17 had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours. The depression is expected to become a tropical storm by Saturday night.

The storm is located about 130 miles south of Havana, Cuba. It is moving north-northeast at 25 mph.

Forecasters expect the storm to continue towards the northeast and increase in forward speed Saturday night and into Sunday. The depression is expected to move across west-central Cuba Saturday afternoon, across the Straits of Florida Saturday night, and across the northwestern Bahamas Sunday morning.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Cuban provinces of Isla de la Juventud, La Habana, Ciudad de la Habana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Villa Clara
  • Northwestern Bahamas

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • Craig Key to Golden Beach
  • Central Bahamas
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