Epsilon now a category 2 hurricane, Bermuda braced for bad weather

Tropical Storm Epsilon forecast to become hurricane, pass near Bermuda

UPDATE (1:55 p.m. Wednesday): Hurricane Epsilon has strengthened again.

Large swells generated by Epsilon will affect Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, the Leeward Islands, the east coast of the United States, and Atlantic Canada during the next few days.

The hurricane center said that it has become much better organized since Thursday, "and a tropical depression could form during the next couple of days" while it moves slowly to the northwest.

Epsilon had 85 miles per hour winds, making it a Category 1 hurricane.

The NHC said hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 435 miles mainly to the north of the centre.

This year, forecasters from the NOAA predicted that anywhere from 13 to 19 major storms will occur by the end of the season - which has already been beaten.

The latest indications are for the storm and the hurricane-force winds near its core to stay east of the islands with tropical-storm conditions anticipated.

It is expected to be near western Cuba this weekend and make it into the southeastern Gulf by early next week.

The current record for the most active season was set in 2005, which went as far as Zeta, named for the sixth letter in the Greek alphabet after the traditional name list was exhausted. The storm hovered over the island longer than the Bermuda Weather Service had predicted.

Tropical Storm Epsilon is seen over the Atlantic on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2020.

It also broke the previous record of earliest 26th named storm ever to form. That officially qualified it as a rapidly intensifying storm. Epsilon also represents a record for the earliest 26th named storm, beating out a storm on November 22 in 2005, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.

Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman and meteorologist with the National Hurricane Center in Miami, has called the 2020 hurricane season "hyperactive" compared with the average hurricane season, which typically produces 12 named storms, including three that develop into major hurricanes. Paulette became the first storm to make landfall in Bermuda since Hurricane Gonzalo on Oct.17, 2014. The storm was moving northwest at 7 miles per hour toward the island nation.