Tropical Storm Rina forms in the Atlantic Ocean

Weather system swirls in open Atlantic

MIAMI – Tropical Storm Rina formed Thursday in the Atlantic to the east of Tropical Storm Philipe, and forecasters said it was too early to tell how much further Rina might strengthen because of possible interaction between the back-to-back storms.

Hours after gaining tropical storm status, Rina still had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph), the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Rina was centered 1,110 miles (1,785 kilometers) east of the Northern Leeward Islands. No coastal watches or warnings are in effect for either, and there were no hazards affecting land. Rina was traveling north-northwest at a clip of about 14 mph (22 kph).

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Philippe was crawling slowly across the ocean at 2 mph (4 kph) in a west-northwestly direction. Forecasters said top sustained winds were about 45 mph (75 kph), with little change in strength expected. The hurricane center said the storm's fate remains uncertain, adding Philippe could dissipate in the next few days.

Philippe was centered 525 miles (845 kilometers) east of the Northern Leeward Islands. Though no watches or warnings are in effect, forecasters advised those in the Northern Leeward Islands, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico to monitor the progress of Philippe.