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Franklin considered ‘potential threat’ to Bermuda

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Tropical Storm Franklin's predicted path, according to the forecast at 6am on August 24, 2023 (Image courtesy of the National Hurricane Centre)

A tropical storm that hammered the Dominican Republic yesterday has been described by the Bermuda Weather Service as a potential threat.

The system could approach the island as a Category 2 hurricane early next week.

In an update this morning, the BWS said that showers were expected to redevelop on Sunday as Franklin approaches from the south.

It added: “Franklin then swings a band of clouds over the island on Monday afternoon with showers ensuing.”

The forecast highlighted uncertainty around wind speed at this stage but predicted winds of 17 to 23mph, possibly increasing to about 29mph.

It said: “There is a slight chance for a thunderstorm advisory and the continuance of a hurricane watch/warning during the long term period as Franklin slides by to our west.”

The BWS added that it will continue to monitor movement of the storm, which is forecast to strengthen to a Category 1 on Saturday and a Category 2 on Sunday.

The Associated Press reported that Franklin caused heavy floods and landslides yesterday in the Dominican Republic, where one man was killed when he was swept away by floodwaters.

Two women were also injured following a landslide, it was said.

The National Hurricane Centre said this morning that the storm was expected to turn northeast then east-northeast with its movement slowing over the next couple of days.

It added: “On the forecast track, the centre of Franklin will continue to move farther away from the Dominican Republic and over the southwestern Atlantic into the weekend.

“Maximum sustained winds are near 50mph with higher gusts.

“Gradual strengthening is forecast, and Franklin is expected to become a hurricane in a couple of days.”

Tropical-storm-force winds have been recorded up to 105 miles from the centre of the storm, primarily on the eastern side.

Tropical storm warnings in effect earlier for portions of the Dominican Republic and Turks & Caicos were discontinued.

Bermuda Weather Service graphic predicts path of Tropical Storm Franklin, August 24, midday (Image courtesy of the Bermuda Weather Service)

The BWS’s projected path of the storm showed it west of the island at 9pm on Monday as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of almost 104mph.

The BWS forecast at midday said that the system’s closest point of approach to Bermuda in the next three days was expected to be about 400 miles to the south-southwest at noon on Sunday.

It cautioned that the storm could move closer to the island after that time depending on its track.

Franklin is one of several systems being watched in the Atlantic this week.

Meteorologists were monitoring a thunderstorm system in the eastern Atlantic, which could develop in the coming days. However, the NHC said yesterday conditions appeared only “marginally conducive” to further development.

The NHC estimated there was a 10 per cent chance the system would become a tropical depression by this afternoon and a 30 per cent chance the system would turn tropical in the next week.

On Sunday, the NHC marked the formation of Tropical Storm Emily, which petered out into a post-tropical cyclone today.

Meteorologists continue to monitor the area, noting the system had a 60 per cent chance of strengthening again by Friday afternoon and a 70 per cent chance of doing so in the next week as it drifts north.

“Upper-level winds are forecast to become more conducive for development in a day or so, and this system is likely to regenerate into a tropical depression or tropical storm late this week or this weekend when the system moves northward over the subtropical central Atlantic,” the NHC said.

The 2023 hurricane season has been forecast to be busier than usual as warmer than normal water temperatures offset El Niño, a weather phenomenon known to limit hurricane development in the Atlantic.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated that the season could include 14 to 21 named storms, of which between six and 11 could reach hurricane strength.

Of those storms, it is estimated two to five could become major hurricanes reaching at least Category 3 strength with winds of 111mph or greater.

Systems being monitored in the Atlantic as of 6pm on Wednesday (Image from the National Hurricane Centre)

UPDATE: This story has been updated to provide the latest information from the Bermuda Weather Service.

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Published August 24, 2023 at 12:16 pm (Updated August 24, 2023 at 12:16 pm)

Franklin considered ‘potential threat’ to Bermuda

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