Hurricane Igor Menaces Bermuda as Winds Lash Island
The center of Hurricane Igor will pass near Bermuda this evening, the National Hurricane Center said, as hurricane-force gusts begin lashing the island.
Igor, a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, remains a “very large” weather system, with little change in strength expected during the next two days, the center said in its latest advisory.
“Igor will be a long duration storm for Bermuda,” said Jim Rouiller, senior energy meteorologist for Planalytics Inc. in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.
Igor has sustained winds of 75 mph and is about 60 miles (95 kilometers) west-southwest of the island, the U.S. center said. The system is moving at 14 mph, and is headed north, the hurricane center said.
Igor, which weakened from a Category 3 storm on Sept. 17, may drop as much as 9 inches (22 centimeters) of rain over Bermuda, according to the center.
Five hurricanes with Category 3 winds of 111 miles per hour (178 kilometers per hour) have formed in the Atlantic this year, part of a total of 11 named storms with winds of 39 mph or more. The average Atlantic season produces 11 named storms from June 1 through Nov. 30, two of them major hurricanes, according to Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the hurricane center.
“This storm is one that should be taken extremely seriously,” Mark Guishard, director of Bermuda Weather Service, said in a statement. “Make no mistake, even if the center of this system misses the island, we will experience significant impacts.”
Bermuda’s weather service has compared Igor to Hurricane Fabian, which hit the island in 2003 with winds of 120 mph, killing eight people and causing $300 million in damage.
“The current forecast is indeed for a direct hit on the island, the worst scenario,” Guishard said.
East of Igor, Tropical Storm Julia is 1,280 miles west of the Azores, and is weakening as it moves northeast toward the North Atlantic, the center said in a separate advisory. Maximum sustained winds were record at 45 mph. Julia is expected to dissipate by Sept. 21.
Separately, an area of low pressure 375 miles to the west of the Cape Verde Islands has an 80 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next two days as it moves to the west-northwest at 5 mph, the center said.