Tropical Storm Josephine is now considered to be a potential threat to Bermuda with its closest point of approach expected to be some 380nm to the SSW of the island around 6am on Tuesday, August 18, 2020.
But forecasters at the Bermuda Weather Service say “this system may move closer to Bermuda…depending upon its track”.
As of this morning Josephine was located at 18.9N 58.4W or some 875 nm SSE of Bermuda moving WNW or 300 degrees at 13kt with maximum winds at 40kt with gusts to 50kt.
The record-setting storm was expected to pass just east and north of the Leeward Islands overnight and today, before heading north and swinging slightly east, toward Bermuda.
A vertical wind shear from the southwest will weaken the storm system’s wind intensity, according to Accuweather’s hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski.
She’s expected to reach Bermuda on Tuesday — but will have lost her punch by then and may be downgraded to a tropical depression.
“By that time, Josephine could be a depression, but it still might have a large area of rain and gusty winds that could impact Bermuda Tuesday night and Wednesday of next week,” Kottlowski said.
Josephine is the earliest “J” storm named in a hurricane season — which typically doesn’t come until mid-October.
The record was formerly held by Jose, which developed on Aug. 22, 2005.
Meanwhile, another system has formed northeast of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, with a 40 percent chance of turning into a tropical or subtropical depression over the next two days, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Josephine will pass northeast of the northern Leeward Islands on Saturday and Puerto Rico on Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center. It is expected to recurve back into the Atlantic while weakening, first to a depression and then to a post-tropical storm.
Josephine’s winds rose to 45 mph, but it is still a minimal tropical storm.
Josephine could bring 1 to 3 inches of rain to parts of the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The hurricane center said isolated minor flooding will be possible in Puerto Rico through Monday.
The hurricane center is also tracking another tropical storm closer to home.
It is forecast to take an east-northeast path that will steer it away from the US and Canada.
Kyle was forecast to lose its tropical features by Sunday or Monday.