Hurricane Epsilon continues to go through a period of rapid intensification; the hurricane which had top winds of 75 mph this time yesterday now has winds of 110 mph; additional strengthening is forecast and Epsilon should be a Major Hurricane soon. With outer bands expected to lash Bermuda, a Tropical Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning there.
Hurricane Epsilon is located approximately 365 miles east-southeast of Bermuda at 29.4 N 59.7W. The 110 mph storm is moving to the west-northwest at 9 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure has dropped to 959 mb or 28.32 inches.
Epsilon is forecast to become a potent Atlantic Ocean storm. According to the National Hurricane Center, a turn toward the northwest is expected tonight, followed by a turn toward the north by Thursday night. On the forecast track, the center of Epsilon is forecast to make its closest approach to Bermuda Thursday afternoon or evening. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft investigating the storm has found that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 110 mph with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is possible this
afternoon, followed by little change in strength or gradual weakening into the weekend.
While Epsilon should transition out of a tropical cyclone into a post-tropical or subtropical system with time, some computer forecast guidance suggests the pressure in the system could reach record low levels as it moves over the open waters of the North Atlantic.
Epsilon is already a record breaker, becoming the earliest 26th Atlantic named storm on record, beating out the storm that formed on November 22, 2005. Epsilon is the 10th hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season to date; only 4 years in the satellite era since 1966 have there been 10 or more hurricanes in the basin: 1969, 1995, 2005, and 2017.
Large swells generated by Epsilon are affecting Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the Leeward Islands, and are expected to reach portions of the east coast of the United States and Atlantic Canada during the next couple of days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Even expert swimmers and surfers should avoid the ocean until wave action from this hurricane have calmed.