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Tropical Storm Watch in effect

Graphic from the Bermuda Weather Service (www.weather.bm)

Bermuda is now on a Tropical Storm Watch as tropical depression Karl continues towards the island.

The Bermuda Weather Service formally announced the watch at noon in advance of the storm, which is expected to pass the island early Saturday as a Tropical Storm.

According to the BWS noon update, Karl was still 457 nautical miles southeast of the island.

The storm is considered a potential threat, and is expected to pass 88 nautical miles to the southeast of Bermuda at its closest point of approach at 3am on Saturday.

In a special warning issued this afternoon, the BWS stated: “Karl’s forecast remains very uncertain but strong winds (higher in exposed and elevated areas), showers, squalls, thunderstorms, and very rough seas creating hazardous surf are still expected as it passes Friday night through Saturday morning.”

As of noon today, the storm was moving northwest at 17mph (15 knots) and boasted maximum sustained winds of 35mph (30 knots).

The system is expected to gain strength as it approaches Bermuda, likely returning to Tropical Storm strength later today.

According to the US-based National Hurricane Centre, the island has a 20 to 30 per cent chance of experiencing Tropical Storm force winds, and a less than 5 per cent chance of feeling Hurricane force winds.