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21 Oct 2020 | 07:31 AM UTC

Bermuda: Tropical Storm Epsilon strengthens into Category 1 hurricane as it moves towards Bermuda October 21 /update 1

Tropical Storm Epsilon strengthens into Category 1 hurricane as it moves towards Bermuda October 21; monitor weather developments

environment
BMU

Event

Tropical Storm Epsilon, which formed in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday, October 19, has now strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane. As of 08:00 (local time) on Wednesday, October 21, the storm is located 725km (450mi) east-south-east of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds of 136kph (85mph). Forecasters predict that the Category 1 storm is likely to stay east of Bermuda as it approaches, which could prompt dangerous surf conditions and powerful winds. A Tropical Storm Watch is currently in place in Bermuda.

Context

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from late May through to the end of November, with activity typically peaking in late August and early September. Numerous tropical storms form in the Atlantic Ocean during this period, with most affecting the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the east coast of the United States. Although communities in the region are generally well prepared for adverse weather conditions during the hurricane season, severe storms bring a significant risk of flooding and infrastructural damage.

Organized tropical activity tends to peak in August and September. Storms tend to flood sections of highways and cause dirt-based roads to become temporarily impassable. More organized systems, depending on intensity, can prove catastrophic in terms of tidal surge, wind damage, flooding, and mudslides.

Advice

Those in Bermuda are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.

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