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Paulette could pass as Cat 2 hurricane

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Tropical Storm Paulette could pass Bermuda as a Category 2 hurricane as early as Sunday night, according to forecasts.

The US-based National Hurricane Centre said this morning: “On the forecast track, the centre of Paulette should approach Bermuda Sunday night and Monday.

“Maximum sustained winds are near 65mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is expected today.

“Gradual strengthening is expected to begin tonight or on Saturday, and Paulette is forecast to become a hurricane this weekend.

“Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles from the centre.”

The service added that while the exact details of Paulette's track and intensity near the island are not yet known, the risk of strong winds, storm surge and heavy rainfall on Bermuda continues to increase.

Forecasts suggest the storm could become a hurricane on Sunday morning and reach Category 2 strength by Monday morning.

The Bermuda Weather Service announced yesterday afternoon that the storm was a potential threat to the island.

The BWS said in its 5.30am update: “Building southeasterly swell will develop over the weekend in advance of TS Paulette which continues to be closely monitored, along with TS Rene.

“TS Paulette is now a potential threat to Bermuda.”

At 6am, the storm was 1,022 miles east-southeast of Bermuda and moving west-northwest at 10mph.

Paulette is expected to be 138 miles to the island's south-southeast on Sunday night, but advanced forecasts suggest it could come closer after that time.

By the time it reaches Bermuda, extended forecasts suggest the storm could boast sustained winds of 98mph to 104mph.

Tropical Storm Rene is farther from the island, but is being closely monitored.

At 6pm yesterday, the storm was 1,844 miles east-southeast of the island and moving west-northwest at 10mph.

The storm is expected to gain strength in the coming days before weakening again early next week.

Rene's closest point of approach in the next three days is expected to be 1,168 miles from the island on Monday morning, but it could come closer after that time.

Tropical Storm Paulette's forecast path as of 6am on Friday. (Graphic from the Bermuda Weather Service)
Tropical Storm Paulette's forecast path as at 6pm - all times shown are Eastern Standard Time (Graphic from the National Hurricane Centre)
Image from the Bermuda Weather Service

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Published September 11, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated September 11, 2020 at 11:08 am)

Paulette could pass as Cat 2 hurricane

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