Graphic: Bermuda Weather Service

CNN Weather: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 – If your travel plans are taking you to Bermuda — or if you live there — this week, keep an eye on Tropical Storm Epsilon.

While the storm’s center is not projected to hit the vacation hotspot in the Atlantic, Epsilon could become a hurricane later this week before it passes the island. 
The storm was sitting still Monday, about 750 miles southeast of Bermuda. But “swells generated by Epsilon are expected to affect Bermuda for the next several days.
These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the National Hurricane Center said.
Epsilon is forecast to approach Bermuda Thursday, the center said, and will be at or near hurricane strength by Wednesday night.The center’s forecasters say the storm should begin a slow, northward trek Monday night then move northwestwardly or west-northwestwardly midweek as it picks up speed and intensifies.
“Epsilon is forecast to be at or near hurricane strength on Wednesday,” the hurricane center said.The agency’s forecast cone predicts the storm’s center will pass to the east.

The storm formed in the Atlantic Ocean earlier on Monday, according to the center.

Epsilon is the 26th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which is on the verge of becoming the most active since 2005. There were 28 storms in 2005, including destructive Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. That year was also the first time the normal list of storm names was exhausted, prompting the use of names beginning with letters from the Greek alphabet.

Graphic: National Hurricane Center

The 2020 season ends on November 30. With 26 named storms (the average for an entire season is 12), the 2020 season could easily surpass 2005.

Meanwhile, forecasters at the Bermuda Weather Service (BWS) say Tropical Storm Epsilon remains a “potential threat to Bermuda”, with its closest point of approach to Bermuda within 72 hours forecast to be 171 nm to the east at 6am on Friday October 23).
“This system may move closer to Bermuda after this time period depending upon its track,” said the BWS.

Tropical Storm Epsilon “is forecast to gradually approach the area later this week, introducing the likelihood of gale/tropical storm force winds, rain and showers, and the chance of thunder”.

According to the NHC the storm “started moving toward Bermuda after sitting stationary for nearly a full day”

“Epsilon has maximum sustained winds at about 45 miles per hour and is now moving northwest at 3 mph.

“The tropical storm is around 750 miles southeast of Bermuda. It is expected to strengthen into a hurricane sometime Tuesday.

“Epsilon should not threaten North Carolina or any other state in the USA. However, the storm will churn up the sea.”

As of 5am this morning the storm’s center was located near latitude 25.6° North, longitude 54.7° West, packing maximum sustained winds near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts.

It is expected to strengthen gradually during next few days to be either be near or at hurricane strength by Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 275 miles (445 km) from the center.