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Hurricane Epsilon should sideswipe Bermuda as trough moves toward South Florida

Meanwhile, forecasters are watching a system in the western Caribbean that is expected to move toward South Florida over the next several days.
Hurricane Epsilon is expected to sideswipe Bermuda on Thursday. Forecasters also are watching a trough of low pressure headed toward South Florida.
Hurricane Epsilon is expected to sideswipe Bermuda on Thursday. Forecasters also are watching a trough of low pressure headed toward South Florida. [ National Hurricane Center ]
Published Oct. 22, 2020

MIAMI — Hurricane Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds dropped slightly as it moved northwest over the Atlantic Ocean on a path that should sideswipe Bermuda on Thursday.

Epsilon was a Category 2 hurricane with top winds of 110 mph Thursday morning as it swirled near enough for the National Hurricane Center to issue a tropical storm warning for the island. The Miami-based center said Epsilon was located about miles east-southeast of Bermuda, and was moving to the northwest at 7 mph.

Forecasters said Epsilon should make its closest approach to Bermuda by Thursday evening. Gradual weakening is expected into the weekend. Large ocean swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions along the coast of New England and Atlantic Canada during the next couple of days, the hurricane center said.

Epsilon had gained 50 mph in wind speed in just 24 hours to become a major hurricane on Wednesday, officially qualifying as a rapidly intensifying storm. It was the seventh storm this season to power up this quickly.

Over the past couple decades, meteorologists have been increasingly worried about storms that blow up from nothing to a whopper, just like Epsilon. Forecasters created an official threshold for this dangerous rapid intensification — a storm gaining 35 mph in wind speed in just 24 hours.

This year’s season has had so many storms that the hurricane center has turned to the Greek alphabet after running out of official names.

Meanwhile, forecasters also are watching a trough of low pressure in the western Caribbean that is expected to move northeast toward South Florida over the next several days. Forecasters give the system a 10 percent chance of tropical formation over the next two days and a 30 percent chance of formation in the next five days.

Either way, the system is expected to bring potential heavy rain to South Florida.

The Tampa Bay area will be warm and wet today and Friday, according to Spectrum Bay News 9. Highs will be in the upper 80s and rain chances today are 50 percent and Friday are 40 percent. Today also will be breezy.

Rain chances decline to around 30 percent on Saturday and 20 percent Sunday.

The Spectrum Bay News 9 forecast through Wednesday.
The Spectrum Bay News 9 forecast through Wednesday. [ Spectrum Bay News 9 ]

--Times Staff Writer Chris Tisch contributed to this report.

• • •

2020 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide

HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane

PREPARE FOR COVID-19 AND THE STORM: The CDC's tips for this pandemic-hurricane season

PREPARE YOUR STUFF: Get your documents and your data ready for a storm

BUILD YOUR KIT: The stuff you’ll need to stay safe — and comfortable — for the storm

PROTECT YOUR PETS: Your pets can’t get ready for a storm. That’s your job

NEED TO KNOW: Click here to find your evacuation zone and shelter

Lessons from Hurricane Michael

What the Panhandle’s top emergency officials learned from Michael

‘We’re not going to give up.’ What a school superintendent learned from Michael

What Tampa Bay school leaders fear most from a storm

Tampa Bay’s top cops fear for those who stay behind

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