Photo: National Hurricane Center

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) say Paulette could get even stronger before it passes near or over Bermuda on Monday morning.

Hurricane Paulette became the sixth hurricane of 2020 in the Atlantic on Saturday while moving steadily closer to the island this weekend.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the local area.

According to the Bermuda Weather Service hazardous southeasterly swells and surf quickly became dangerous on Saturday.

“Outer bands may bring showers and squally conditions ahead of the storm. Expect tropical storm force winds to develop by early Sunday afternoon and hurricane force winds Sunday night with the storm centre passing nearby early Monday morning.

“Paulette will then turn northeast and rapidly move away Monday night into Tuesday.”

Forecasters issued “a warning that one or both of the following dangerous effects of a hurricane are expected to affect Bermuda or the local marine area out to 25 nautical miles in 36 hours or less: (a) average winds 64 knots (118 km/h) (74 mph) or higher; (b) dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves, even though winds expected may be less than hurricane force”.

 As of 5am this morning Paulette was located at 26.2ºN 47.1ºW moving NW at 14 mph with winds of 75 mph, making it a Category 1 hurricane.
Meanwhile, forecasters were also tracking Tropical Storm Sally, which appeared headed for the northern Gulf Coast as a hurricane next week, Tropical Depression Rene, which is no threat to land, Tropical Depression 20, which is also no immediate threat to land, and two other tropical waves as of Saturday.

The hurricane center said Paulette is “expected to be a dangerous hurricane when it is near Bermuda Sunday night and Monday”.

“The intensity forecast suggests Paulette could peak as a top-end Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds.

Photo: National Hurricane Center

“Paulette is expected to bring 3 to 6 inches of rain to Bermuda, along with damaging winds, storm surge and large waves.

“Farther to the east is Rene, which has weakened to a tropical depression — and then weakened some more as of late Saturday.

“As of 10 p.m. CDT Saturday, Rene was located about 1,175 miles east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands and was moving northwest at 13 mph.

“Rene was originally forecast to become a hurricane but has remained a weak storm. Its winds dropped to 30 mph late Saturday.

“Then there is Tropical Storm Sally, which could threaten the northern Gulf Coast as a hurricane.

“Sally crossed over South Florida and into the Gulf today. It is expected to strengthen and track to the northwest and reach the northern Gulf Coast by Tuesday. Forecasters now think it will be a hurricane upon arrival.

“Hurricane and storm surge watches have been issued for areas from Louisiana to Alabama as well as a tropical storm watch that covers part of the Florida Panhandle.

“As of 10pm CDT Saturday, Tropical Storm Sally was located about 70 miles southwest of Port Charlotte, Florida, or 425 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, and was moving west-northwest at 8 mph.
“Tropical Storm Sally is forecast to make landfall anywhere from southeastern Louisiana to the Alabama coast next week. It could be a hurricane by then, and hurricane and storm surge watches have been issued for Alabama as well as Mississippi and parts of Louisiana.
  • Top Feature Photo Courtesy of Bermuda Weather Service
“Another tropical wave was in the Gulf of Mexico and has a 20 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression over the next five days, but it was headed southwest and away from the US.

“The Atlantic hurricane season is in what is typically its busiest stretch. The season runs until November 30.”