Could Bermuda feel effects from Jerry this week?

Renee Duff

Forecasters believe Tropical Storm Jerry will track close enough to Bermuda to deliver a period of soaking rainfall, gusty winds and rough seas prior to midweek.

Jerry is seen over the open Atlantic during the early hours of Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. (Photo/NOAA)

Jerry weakened from a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm early Saturday morning while passing a few hundred miles to the north of the northern Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Although Jerry is currently moving toward the north-northwest, a cold front set to sweep off the East Coast of the United States on Monday will pull the tropical system northward early this week.

While this northward turn will spare the United States from direct impacts, Jerry's projected path will put the storm on a close encounter with Bermuda.

"Jerry should pass just north and west of Bermuda Tuesday night to early Wednesday," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.

"We expect the storm to pass between 100 and 140 miles of the islands," Kottlowski said.

Jerry is expected to be a tropical storm on its closest approach. A tropical storm has maximum sustained winds of up to 73 mph with higher gusts.

"Bermuda can experience near hurricane-force winds, soaking rain and rough surf as a result of Jerry," AccuWeather Meteorologist Mary Gilbert said.

"These impacts will be amplified if Jerry passes right over the islands," she added. However, this scenario appears unlikely at this point.

Just this past week, former Major Hurricane Humberto unleashed fierce winds as it passed just to the north of Bermuda.

Bermuda's building codes require dwellings to withstand sustained wind speeds of 110 mph (177 km/h), which is the equivalent of a high-end Category 2 hurricane. A majority of properties are made of stone and mortar.

As a result, structural damage is unlikely to occur with Jerry, even with its projected path very close to Bermuda.

However, gusty winds can toss around loose items like toys and cause them to become potentially deadly projectiles. Isolated power outages and tree damage may also occur.

Residents should make sure to secure or safely house any outdoor furniture, planters or decorative items ahead of Jerry's arrival.

Waterspouts can occur within Jerry's rain bands. A general 1-3 inches (25 to 75 millimeters) of rain is forecast.

Large swells generated by Jerry will bring rough and dangerous surf to Bermuda through Wednesday. Rip currents will be strong and numerous.

The rain and wind could hinder any continued recovery efforts from Humberto, according to Gilbert.

Conditions will dramatically improve across Bermuda later Wednesday as Jerry gets swept northeastward.

In the wake of Jerry, several other tropical disturbances are being closely monitored across the Atlantic basin, including Karen.