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Tropical Storm Epsilon Forecast to Pass Near or East of Bermuda as a Hurricane Late Week

Published in 20 October, 2020

At a Glance

  • Tropical Storm Epsilon is located in the central Atlantic Ocean.

  • Epsilon could track near or east of Bermuda as a hurricane late this week.

  • Another area of disturbed weather in the western Caribbean is also being tracked.

Tropical Storm Epsilon is expected to intensify into a hurricane in the central Atlantic Ocean before tracking near or east of Bermuda late this week. While not a U.S. threat, it may help generate high surf along the East Coast later this week.

Epsilon became the 26th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season late Monday morning, beating the previous record earliest 26th storm of the 2005 hurricane season – Nov. 22, 2005 – by over a month, according to Phil Klotzbach, Colorado State University tropical scientist.

The tropical storm is centered more than 700 miles southeast of Bermuda and is moving little at this time.

Epsilon’s wind field is large in size with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 275 miles from its circulation center.

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Epsilon is forecast to strengthen and become the Atlantic’s 10th hurricane of the season by Wednesday night or Thursday.

With blocking high pressure aloft to its north, this system won’t be able to simply take off immediately into the open North Atlantic, but instead will be steered northwestward slowly.

That track may allow Epsilon to move near or east of Bermuda as a hurricane by Friday. It’s too early to provide specific forecast impacts for Bermuda, as those details depend on how close the center of Epsilon tracks, but at least some bands of heavy rain and strong winds are possible.

All interests in Bermuda should monitor the forecast of Epsilon closely.

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This system is not a threat to the U.S. East Coast.

However, the pressure difference between strong high pressure over the North Atlantic Ocean and Epsilon should eventually generate swells that will push toward parts of the East Coast, leading to high surf and rip currents later this week.

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This rough surf should also extend to the Bahamas, and north-facing coasts of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Leeward Islands.

Parts of the U.S. East Coast are already seeing coastal flooding and rip currents early this week. That is being caused by a combination of king tides and onshore winds from an area of high pressure.

Western Caribbean Sea
The other area we’re watching is in the western Caribbean Sea.

A broad area of low pressure has developed stretching from east of central America to western Cuba.

The low-pressure system is expected to track toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula over the next couple of days. However, forecast models are trending lower on development chances in this zone.

Regardless, some locally heavy rain is possible in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and parts of Cuba, Jamaica and the Cayman Island through midweek.

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We’ve now blown through 26 storms this season, requiring the use of the Greek alphabet for additional named storms for only the second time.

The record 2005 Atlantic hurricane season used up the first six letters of the Greek alphabet, but it took until the end of December for “Zeta” to form that year.

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One unnamed subtropical storm was found in post-analysis of the 2005 season, thus bringing that season’s record total to 28 storms.

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