Hurricane Florence: noon update
Hurricane Florence, the first major storm of the season, dropped back down to a Category 3 overnight, with further weakening expected today.
As of noon, the storm's closest point of approach to Bermuda was forecast as 626 miles east-southeast of the island at midday on Sunday.
But meteorologists warn the storm could pick up strength again as it approaches Bermuda.
Florence packed winds just over 100mph at noon, according to the Bermuda Weather Service, with gusts topping 125mph.
The United States-based National Hurricane Centre said: “Swells generated by Florence will begin to affect Bermuda on Friday and will reach portions of the US East Coast over the weekend.
“These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”
Florence was positioned 1,116 miles east-southeast of the island at noon, and moving northwest at just over 10mph.
Projections show a meandering course, and the National Hurricane Centre cautioned that a variety of models were in play, making it difficult to forecast into next week.
The Bermuda Weather Service said it was not considered a threat to the island at this time, but the Emergency Measures Organisation announced it is monitoring its track.
A national security ministry spokeswoman said: “While the Bermuda Weather Service notes that the storm's track will continue to fluctuate as the week progresses, the ministry takes this opportunity to remind the public that Bermuda is in the midst of hurricane season, and encourages the public to use this opportunity to update their storm supply kits.
“The ministry notes that the EMO is prepared and stands ready to convene should Hurricane Florence's forecasted track pose a threat to Bermuda.”
The ministry advised people to adhere to official information from official sources regarding all public services, such as itself, the EMO and the Department of Communications.
The Emergency Broadcast Station on 100.1fm is operational and people can also visit www.weather.bm.
Tips from the ministry include:
• Secure homes and checking storm shutters. Finalise any repairs around the house
• Have the necessary supply of batteries, including a back-up battery or power supply for mobile phones
• Have at least two weeks supply of medication for yourself, other family members or pets
• Update first aid kits
• Check gas canisters for use
• Have necessary unperishable food supplies in the house
• Have an analogue phone in case the power goes out
• Have a radio that runs on batteries that can tune into the Emergency Radio Station 100.1FM