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Tropical Storm Philippe forms over Cuba, aims for South Florida

Tropical Storm Philippe forms over Cuba, aims for South Florida

The storm reached tropical storm strength by 5 p.m., which means winds of 39-73 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. Though for the time being the storm is moving north, its forward speed is very fast, clocking in at 29 miles per hour.

The National Hurricane Center said Friday the depression was producing heavy rain across Central Cuba and would gradually begin pushing that rain over the Florida Keys and South Florida.

The National Weather Service also says some "brief tornadoes" are possible for South Florida and the Keys Saturday.

The system is set to bring same impacts across the western Caribbean, the southern half of Florida and the Bahamas.

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The storm will move over cooler waters as it moves northward, eventually losing its tropical designation by Monday.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for portions of southeastern Florida and the upper Florida Keys. If the system fails to become a fully developed tropical storm by Sunday morning then the system will likely remain a poorly organized storm system. The designation was based on the discovery of a now well-defined center of circulation thanks to Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance aircraft missions inside the storm.

The Sun Sentinel reports that heavy rains have already hit South Florida. Rainfall amounts could reach above 5 inches across parts of South Florida and around 1.5 in the southern tier of Central Florida.

The center of Tropical Depression Eighteen was located by reconnaissance aircraft and radars from Cuba and Grand Cayman near latitude 20.8 North, longitude 82.9 West.

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