Epsilon likely to deliver storm force winds
Weather models predicted Tropical Storm Epsilon would gain strength and edge past east of Bermuda on Friday.
Forecasters warned wet weather, stronger winds and rough seas should be expected.
The National Hurricane Centre in the United States said the storm would be “at or near hurricane strength” as it passed the island.
Bermuda Weather Service forecasts showed Epsilon could build into a Category 1 Hurricane as early as Wednesday night.
The storm was 765 miles east-southeast of Bermuda at 6am today and moving at 3mph.
The BWS said Epsilon’s closest approach in 72 hours would be just under 200 miles east at 6am on Friday.
But the BWS warned Epsilon could move closer to Bermuda after that.
An update on the BWS website predicted that gale force winds would ramp up to storm force on Friday.
TS Epsilon was said to be a “a potential threat to Bermuda”.
James Dodgson, a BWS forecaster, said yesterday: “Both Thursday and Friday are likely to see widespread rain and showers, especially on Friday.”
He added that several inches of rain were predicted “which could perhaps be the only benefit of this very inclement weather, given that Bermuda is currently running eight inches below average for the year-to-date”.
Mr Dodgson predicted that winds would increase over Thursday and Friday “and likely reaching towards storm force for a time on Friday”.
He added: “Given all the current model data, a tropical storm warning will likely need to be issued for this period.
“Winds could gust hurricane force in and around showers and, given some specific tropical model guidance, it is not out of the question that a hurricane watch / warning may be required.”
The NHC said that a ridge was expected to build over the western and central Atlantic to the north of the tropical storm by midweek.
US forecasters added: “As the ridge slides eastward later this week, the cyclone should move west-northwestward to northwestward at a faster rate of speed.
“This motion will bring the system close to Bermuda by late week and the interests on that island should closely monitor the progress of the cyclone.”