Bermuda issued a tropical storm watch Tuesday morning ahead of Tropical Storm Epsilon, which is forecast to be a Category 1 hurricane when it approaches the island later this week.
The storm was slowly drifting north-northwest over the central Atlantic, and was about 675 miles southeast of Bermuda Tuesday afternoon with maximum sustained winds at 60 mph with higher gusts, according to the hurricane center’s 2 p.m. advisory.
For the next few days, Epsilon will be fighting wind shear, the hurricane center said, so it probably won’t strengthen much. By Wednesday, that shear should lighten up and allow the storm to strengthen into a hurricane. The storm is forecast to approach Bermuda Friday.
“While it is too soon to determine the exact details of Epsilon’s track and intensity near the island, there is a risk of direct impacts from wind, rainfall, and storm surge on Bermuda, and interests there should closely monitor the progress of Epsilon,” forecasters wrote.
Epsilon is the 26th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. It would be the third hurricane to pass near over the island this season.
With over a month to go until hurricane season officially ends November 30, the 2020 hurricane season is also pushing the 2005 record of 28 named storms.
Forecasters are also tracking a trough of low pressure just south of western Cuba with a low chance of strengthening anytime soon. As of the 2 p.m. Tuesday update, forecasters gave it a 0% chance of strengthening over the next two days and a 10% chance of strengthening in the next five days.
The hurricane center said it’s likely to drift toward the Yucatan Peninsula over the next few days, and that regardless of development, the system could bring locally heavy rainfall to portions of central and western Cuba, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and the Yucatan peninsula through midweek.