Hurricane Humberto continues to strengthen and has become a major hurricane as it moves away from the United States toward Bermuda.
With maximum sustained wind speeds of up to 115 mph – and gusts up to 125 mph – Tuesday evening, the large Category 3 storm is forecast to pass dangerously close Wednesday night to Bermuda.
A hurricane warning has been issued by the Bermuda Weather Service. Such a warning is issued when hurricane conditions are expected within the next 36 hours.
“With its current track and cone, the possibility of a significant impact to Bermuda remains a possibility,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.
The concern is not a direct landfall – though that is still a possibility – but that the island is now more likely to experience near-hurricane-force conditions because the wind field has expanded.
The hurricane will pass less than 100 miles north of the island territory, according to the current forecast track from the US National Hurricane Center, which noted Tuesday that forecast “models are in excellent agreement.”
Hurricane-force winds (those greater than 74 mph) extend outward up to 60 miles from the storm’s center. So, any slight movement by Humberto could put Bermuda on the storm’s most intense side.
Only 21 hurricanes have passed within 100 miles of Bermuda over the past 100 years.
The last hurricane to make landfall in Bermuda was Hurricane Gonzalo in 2014.