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Tropical Storm Philippe strengthens, bears down on Cuba and the Bahamas

Tropical Storm Nate on Oct. 6th, 2017.
NASA
Tropical Storm Nate on Oct. 6th, 2017.

A tropical storm named Philippe is cutting a swath through the Caribbean, bringing heavy rains to Cuba and the Bahamas while potentially threatening parts of the U.S. East Coast on the fifth year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.

On Sunday, The National Hurricane Center updated its tropical storm warning for several Cuban provinces, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. Those areas will see at least a few inches of rain, wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour and rainfall that "may produce life threatening flash floods and mudslides," the NHC warned.

In an active season marked by three powerful named hurricanes, Tropical Storm Philippe gathered steam and appeared to have its sights set on the mid-Atlantic. According to the National Weather Service, Philippe is expected to mix with air on the East Coast by Monday, worsening heavy rain and thunder already in the forecast for the region.

"Heavy thundershowers are forecast for much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast today as a cold front tracks through the eastern states and warm, moist air [floats] onshore from the Atlantic Ocean," the NWS said on Sunday.

Philippe is blowing winds of up to 40 miles per hour, with additional strengthening a possibility. Wind gusts were felt near Key West, an area battered by Hurricane Irma just weeks ago.

The NHC said that South Florida, including the Keys, could see up to 6 inches of rain through Sunday, with flash flooding risk.