Hurricane Earl, which is heading toward Bermuda, is expected to strengthen and bring dangerous surf and rip current conditions to the U.S. East Coast later this week, forecasters said.
Earl, the second of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph Wednesday evening, making it a Category 2 storm.
It was expected to continue to strengthen on Thursday and become a “major” Category 3 hurricane, which has sustained winds of 111 to 129 mph and can cause devastating damage.
“Although the center of Earl is expected to pass southeast of Bermuda, tropical storm force winds are expected across the island this afternoon through Friday morning,” the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. United States.
Hurricane-force winds are possible over Bermuda later today or tonight if Earl’s track moves further west than currently forecast, the Miami-based meteorologist said.
“The swells generated by Earl are forming near Bermuda and are expected to reach the US East Coast later today,” the NHC added.
“These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip conditions throughout the weekend.”
A hurricane watch has been issued for Bermuda, a self-governing British Overseas Territory in the western North Atlantic Ocean.
The island’s National Security Minister Michael Weeks told reporters that utilities and government offices would continue to operate, but warned residents to prepare for tropical storm conditions.
“Bermuda will certainly feel the effects of Earl, so we have to guard against complacency,” he said.
Further east, Hurricane Danielle was slowly weakening over open water about 605 miles north-northwest of the Azores. It had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.