Photo: The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel: ATLANTA, Georgia – Hurricane Teddy will likely bring tropical storm conditions to Bermuda just a week after Hurricane Paulette made landfall on the islands, then is an increasing danger for parts of Atlantic Canada next week.

Teddy became the second “major” hurricane – at least Category 3 intensity – of the frenetic 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Thursday morning.

It then continued to intensify to Category 4 status by late Thursday afternoon, exhibiting a clearing out, warming eye and intense convection with lightning strikes detected by the GOES-East Geostationary Lightning Mapper. A Hurricane Hunter mission found flight-level winds of 143 mph at 10,000 feet above the surface Thursday afternoon.

Teddy has just completed an eyewall replacement cycle and the end result is that the storm is shaped more like a donut that is larger than before.

While Teddy is expected to slowly weaken due to some increase in wind shear and also the cooler water churned up in the wake of Paulette, it is expected to track close enough to Bermuda to produce tropical-storm-force winds there.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Bermuda, meaning tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours.

Teddy is still centered over 400 miles from Bermuda. For now, Teddy is expected to track within 150 miles of the archipelago overnight Sunday night or early Monday, likely as a hurricane.

This should be close enough to bring winds of at least 40 mph to Bermuda along with bands of rain and some storm surge flooding. However, these winds may not be as bad as those experienced last week when Paulette passed over Bermuda.

Current Information and Projected Path
(The red-shaded area denotes the potential path of the center of the tropical cyclone. It’s important to note that impacts (particularly heavy rain, high surf, coastal flooding, winds) with any tropical cyclone usually spread beyond its forecast path.)
Photo: The Weather Channel

This past Monday morning, Hurricane Paulette didn’t simply strike Bermuda at Category 1 intensity – its large 35- to 40-mile-wide eye engulfed the entire 20-square-mile group of islands about 650 miles east of Hatteras, North Carolina.

What are the odds of back-to-back strikes on such a tiny part of the Atlantic Ocean? It’s happened only once before in Bermuda.

In mid-October 2014, Hurricane Fay was unexpectedly damaging in Bermuda on October 12, followed six days later by Hurricane Gonzalo, which was Bermuda’s strongest and most damaging hurricane ($200 million to $400 million in damage) since Fabian in 2003.

Prior to Paulette this year, only eight hurricanes had passed close enough to strike Bermuda since 1970, according to NOAA’s historical database.

Atlantic Canada Concern

Bermuda won’t be the final chapter of Teddy.

As with all hurricanes, upper-level winds hold the key to where Teddy will track.

The combination of an area of high pressure aloft over the central Atlantic and a sharp southward plunge of the jet stream over the Northeast US this weekend won’t allow Teddy to take a more typical, sharp northeastward “recurve” into the open Atlantic Ocean.

Instead, Teddy will continue on a generally northward route toward eastern Canada.

Eventually, Teddy will transition from a hurricane to an “extratropical storm” as it moves north of the Gulf Stream, gets a boost from the jet-stream plunge to its west and combines with a cold front diving south off the Eastern Seaboard.

With that boost from the jet stream and cold front, it will remain a formidably intense storm next week, regardless of what meteorologists call it. It will also grow tremendously in size.

Coastal impacts (choppy seas, erosion, rip currents) along the US East Coast could be worse than what was seen in Paulette.

This means even though Teddy will pass well east of the U.S., Teddy and the diving cold front will be major wave generators for the Eastern Seaboard, from the east coast of Florida to Maine.

Coastal flooding has already been reported near Hatteras, North Carolina.imageWave Height Forecast

It is likely that Teddy is diverted far enough north to bring significant impacts to at least parts of the Canadian Maritimes, particularly Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

It appears that eastern portions of New England will see showers and gusty conditions.imageTuesday Forecast.

The National Weather Service is already forecasting at least minor coastal flooding at high tide this weekend from North Carolina to New England.

Interests in Bermuda and Atlantic Canada should monitor the forecast for Teddy and have their plans ready in case the storm becomes a threat.