FLORIDA, United States, Wednesday September 5, 2018 – Hurricane Florence continues to strengthen even more than anticipated as it continues to move in a direction that could see it going close to Bermuda this weekend.
At 11 a.m., Florence, the third hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season and the first major hurricane (Category 3 or higher), was carrying maximum sustained winds around 125 miles per hour.
The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said that the Category 3 Florence had “remarkably” continued to strengthen since becoming a hurricane yesterday afternoon.
“Florence has been rapidly intensifying since yesterday, an event that was not foreseen by any intensity models, [or] forecasters…Florence has apparently been able to find a small pocket of relatively low shear, and with waters becoming progressively warmer, the hurricane has strengthened significantly more than anticipated,” it said, adding that the situation made the intensity forecast “incredibly uncertain”.
The NHC is also not very confident about the track forecast.
At 11 a.m., Hurricane Florence was about 1,160 miles east-northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands and 1,370 miles east-southeast of Bermuda, and moving towards the northwest at 13 miles per hour.
That general motion is expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the west-northwest with a decrease in forward speed is forecast tomorrow, followed by a turn back toward the northwest early next week, the NHC said.
And while some weakening is possible, the NHC said Florence is expected to remain a strong hurricane through early next week.
While Florence isn’t a concern just yet, forecasters say it could inch dangerously close to the tiny island of Bermuda by the latter half of the weekend.
In its latest advisory, the Bermuda Weather Service said Florence’s closest point of approach to the island would be within three days, with forecasts putting it 643 miles to the east-southeast of the island around noon on Saturday.
All interests in the Caribbean island have therefore been advised to closely monitor Florence’s progress.