Hurricane Humberto continues to strengthen and grow as it moves Tuesday away from the United States.
With wind speeds of 100 mph — and gusts up to 120 mph — the Category 2 storm could still become a major hurricane before it comes dangerously close Wednesday night to Bermuda.
“With its current track and cone, the possibility of a significant impact to Bermuda remains a possibility,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.
The concern is not a direct landfall — though that is still a possibility — but that the island is now more likely to experience near-hurricane-force conditions because the wind field has expanded.
The hurricane will pass less than 100 miles north of the island territory, according to the current forecast track from the National Hurricane Center, which noted Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET that forecast “models are in excellent agreement.”
Hurricane-force winds (those greater than 74 mph) extend outward up to 60 miles from the storm’s center. So, any slight movement by Humberto could put Bermuda on the storm’s most intense side.
Tropical storm warning issued for Bermuda
However it tracks, tropical-storm-force winds (of at least 39 mph) will extend onto the island, possibly arriving as early as 8 a.m. ET Wednesday.
A tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch have been issued by the Bermuda Weather Service. Such as warning is issued when tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area, generally within 36 hours; a hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible in the watch area within 36 hours.
Only 21 hurricanes have passed within 100 miles of Bermuda over the past 100 years.
The last hurricane to make landfall in Bermuda was Hurricane Gonzalo in 2014.