HAMILTON, Bermuda, Wednesday October 12, 2016 – With maximum sustained winds that have now increased to Category 2 strength, Hurricane Nicole is headed straight for Bermuda and residents have been told it is a “serious threat”.
Nicole, which formed last Tuesday morning and reached Category 2 hurricane strength two days later, before weakening and then regaining strength over the weekend, now has maximum sustained winds near 100 miles per hour.
The Bermuda Weather Service (BWS) said Hurricane Nicole would pass within 25 miles of the island –which is considered a direct hit – tomorrow, and based on its slow movement, could lash Bermuda with 26 hours of tropical storm weather and hurricane-force winds for about nine hours.
“Nicole is a serious threat to Bermuda, and we cannot afford to have complacency with this storm,” said Senator Jeff Baron, the Minister of National Security.
“I cannot emphasize enough the critical importance of residents securing their homes and completing their preparations well in advance of this storm.”
Ahead of Nicole’s approach, the BWS said, Bermudans can expect hazardous conditions including strong winds, heavy rain, thunderstorms and dangerous surf and rip currents. Tropical storm force winds will arrive by this evening and hurricane force winds by late in the night until tomorrow afternoon.
Schools will close at noon today and will be closed for the rest of the week; government offices will shut at 3 p.m. and reopen Friday; and some businesses have indicated they will also close their doors early today and remain closed tomorrow.
#Bermuda NEWS: There will be no ferry service tomorrow and the last public bus will be at 8.00pm Wednesday evening.
— The Royal Gazette (@TheRoyalGazette) October 11, 2016
At 5 a.m., the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said the “large and distinct eye” of Hurricane Nicole was 330 miles south southwest of the tiny Caribbean island and travelling towards the north-northwest at 7 miles per hour.
It added that some strengthening is possible during the next 36 hours, and Nicole could be near major hurricane strength (111 mile-per-hour winds or higher) by later today.
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) October 11, 2016
Nicole is expected to produce 4 to 8 inches of rain over Bermuda through tomorrow.
A hurricane warning is in effect.