Hurricane Teddy strengthened into a Category 4 storm overnight and is now expected to approach Bermuda this weekend and make its closest point of approach to the island late Sunday or Monday.

While the exact details of Teddy’s track and intensity near the island are not yet known, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) says: “The risk of strong winds, storm surge and heavy rainfall on Bermuda is increasing.

As of 5am this morning Teddy was located at 21.6º N 55.4º W packing maximum sustained winds at 140 mph, moving NW at 13 mph.

Forecasters are calling it a “dangerous Category 4 storm” as Tropical Depression 22 formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday.

While Teddy could strengthen even further today, the NHC predicts it could begin to weaken this weekend.

The storm was 575 miles east-northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands moving northwest at 12 mph as of 5am this monring and heading our way.

A small craft warning is in effect for the local area through to Sunday.
As of 6am this morning, the Bermuda Weather Service (BWS) said Teddy’s closest point of approach to Bermuda within 72 hrs (3 days) is forecast to be 102 nm to the E of the island around 3am on Monday, September 21.
“However, this system may move closer to Bermuda after this time period depending upon its track.”

Meanwhile, the NHC continues to monitor “a crowded Atlantic basin with three other systems churning”.

“Teddy is a large storm with hurricane-force winds extending 60 miles from the center, and its tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 230 miles,” the NHC said.The NHC's 11 p.m. forecast for Hurricane Teddy Thursday (courtesy of the NHC)The NHC’s 11pm forecast for Hurricane Teddy Thursday (courtesy of the NHC)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Air Force were able to obtain useful data during their trips out to study the hurricane. The cyclone now has a more symmetrical appearance while the eye has become mostly clear.

But the NHC’s five-day forecast has it running right into Bermuda, which just endured a direct hit from Hurricane Paulette, which devolved into a post-tropical cyclone on Wednesday.The NHC's 11 p.m. update for Tropical Depression 22 Thursday (courtesy of the NHC).The NHC’s 11pm update for Tropical Depression 22 Thursday (courtesy of the NHC)

Hurricane Teddy is one of six systems being tracked by the National Hurricane Center on Thursday.

Beyond the three named storms, the NHC is also tracking two more with the potential to spin up into either a tropical depression or tropcial storm.

First, a system in the far east Atlantic a few hundred miles south-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands forecast to move west-northwest at 10-15 mph and is maintaining disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Upper-level winds could hamper development into the weekend, but the NHC gives it a 40% chance of forming in the next two days, and 50% chance in the next five.

Finally, in the far northeast Atlantic, some thunderstorms in a nontropical area of low pressure several hundred miles east of the Azores island could find subtropical development a it moves east-southeast and then northeast in the next day at about 10 mph before reaching the coast of Portugal late Friday. The NHC gives it a 30% chance of formation during that time.

If any hit 39 mph sustained winds, they would be named Tropical Storm Wilfred, the last name on the 2020 list. After Wilfred, the NHC will designate any named storms using the Greek alphabet, like Tropical Storm Alpha. That’s only happened one previous time, in 2005, which saw a total of 29 named storms that required the NHC to got six letters deep into the Greek alphabet.

As of 6pm on Thursday, Teddy was 1,070 miles southeast of Bermuda and expected to come 180 miles south-southeast of the island around 6pm Sunday.

But forecasters say it could come closer to Bermuda as a Category 2 or 3 hurricane.

“A weakening trend is expected to begin late this weekend,” the NHC said.

“Teddy is a large hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 230 miles.”

Meanwhile, the BWS said: “High pressure ridging maintains largely fine and dry weather for the moment with mostly light breezes.
“Conditions then begin to deteriorate on Sunday as Hurricane Teddy, now a threat to Bermuda, approaches from the southeast.
“It will become increasingly windy with outbreaks of rain and showers, as well as treacherous surf and swells developing.”
  • Top Feature Photo: The Weather Channel