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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.