Meteorologists have told residents and tourists in Bermuda to remain vigilant into next week after Tropical Storm Florence strengthened to become the Atlantic season’s third hurricane on Tuesday.
The Bermuda Weather Service (BWS) said Florence was 1,629 miles east-southeast of Bermuda and moving west-northwest across the Atlantic Ocean at about 12 miles per hour.
Florence is expected to be within 840 miles of the island by Friday, and advanced forecasts suggest it will come closer after that time.
Florence was packing sustained winds of 75 mph as a weak Category 1 hurricane and, while it is expected to weaken over the next three days, it is then forecast to pick up strength again at the weekend.
“Over the next 24 to 48 hours, Hurricane Florence is expected to encounter increased wind shear which should prevent further intensification and is likely to cause weakening,” a BWS spokesman said.
“However, by the end of the five-day period, Florence is expected to re-intensify as it tracks across warmer seas and an area of less shear.
“This complex pattern leads to some uncertainty and although Florence is not a threat to Bermuda at this time, it will need to be monitored.”
The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre said hurricane-force winds extend 15 miles from the centre of the storm, while tropical storm force winds can be felt up to 105 miles from the centre.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Gordon, which formed on Monday near Key Largo and lashed South Florida with gusty winds and heavy rain, was moving through the Gulf of Mexico, where it grew stronger.
It is expected to be a hurricane when it makes landfall along the Gulf Coast by Tuesday night.
Forecasters are also keeping a close watch on a recently formed tropical wave near the Cape (Cabo) Verde Islands which is being given a 70 per cent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone in the next five days.