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Epsilon becomes 10th hurricane of 2020 season, quickly becomes major Category 3 storm as it nears Bermuda

2 min read
  • The hurricane should make its closest approach to the tiny island nation on Thursday night.
  • Ocean swells from the storm are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
  • Epsilon is the 26th named storm of 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

Hurricane Epsilon intensified to a “major” Category 3 storm on Wednesday, picking up 50 mph in wind speed in 24 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The 10th hurricane of an extremely active Atlantic season, Epsilon has prompted a tropical storm warning for Bermuda, though the storm is forecast to miss the tiny island nation.

Even if the center of the hurricane does not hit Bermuda, its outer winds are expected to affect the island, as tropical-storm-force winds extend as many as 435 miles out from the center of the hurricane. Epsilon should make its closest approach to Bermuda on Thursday afternoon or evening.

“Tropical storm conditions are expected on Bermuda beginning later today and continuing intermittently through late Thursday,” the Hurricane Center said.

‘Crazy’:2020 hurricane season matches 2005 in activity, but not storm intensity

In addition to the winds, large ocean swells generated by Epsilon are already affecting Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles and the Leeward Islands, and they are expected to reach portions of the U.S. East Coast and Atlantic Canada during the next couple of days.  

The forecast track of Hurricane Epsilon shows it nearing Bermuda on Thursday and Friday before racing out to sea by the weekend.

“These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the Hurricane Center warned.

Epsilon had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph as of 5 p.m. Wednesday. The storm was about 340 miles east-southeast of Bermuda, and it was moving northwest at 10 mph.

Epsilon is the 26th named storm of 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. Its formation brought the season even closer to the record of 28 named storms set in 2005 – the only other year to use the Greek alphabet to name storms, AccuWeather said.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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