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”.
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.
“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.
“Then there is Tropical Storm Sally, which could threaten the northern Gulf Coast as a hurricane.
“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.
“The Atlantic hurricane season is in what is typically its busiest stretch. The season runs until November 30.”