The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) in its 20:00 (AST) advisory on Wednesday, October 21, reports that Hurricane Epsilon has strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane. Epsilon is currently located 510km (315mi) southeast of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph), and is moving west-northwest at 10 mph (17 kph). Forecasters predict that the Category 3 storm is likely to stay east of Bermuda as it approaches, with the center of Epsilon forecast to make its closest approach to Bermuda on Thursday afternoon, October 22, which could prompt dangerous surf conditions and powerful winds. A Tropical Storm Watch is currently in place in Bermuda.
Wind damage, widespread flooding, and dangerous sea conditions are possible during the passing of the storm, and disruptions to transportation, business, and utilities are likely in the coming days.
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.
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.