“Florence still a threat to Bermuda, say forecasters”

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HAMILTON – Tropical Storm Florence, which is forecast to regain hurricane strength by the end of the weekend, has been upgraded to a potential threat to Bermuda after more than two inches of rain fell on the island on Friday.

The Bermuda Weather Service (BWS) said winds of tropical-storm strength are possible from Monday night, but Florence’s most significant impact on the island is likely to be rough south-easterly swells producing hazardous surf, especially on the south shore.

At 6.00 a.m. local time on Saturday, Florence, with winds of 65 miles per hour, was 840 miles southeast of Bermuda and 720 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands, and moving west at nine mph.

Its closest point of approach to Bermuda within 72 hours is forecast to be 363 miles to the south on Tuesday at 6.00 a.m.

BWS spokesman Ken Smith said that Florence — the first major hurricane of the Atlantic season — has now been upgraded to a potential threat to Bermuda as the centre is expected to pass within 460 miles of the island in the next 72 hours.

“Florence is expected to re-intensify, to a Category 2 hurricane within the 72-hour period, reaching a Category 4 hurricane in four to five days’ time. Regardless of track, Florence will causing hazardous surf/rip currents,” he said.

A trough of low pressure is generating disorganised showers just west of Bermuda.

Smith said Friday’s thunderstorms, which could linger into the weekend, were “not at all associated with Florence”.

The Emergency Measures Organisation said it is prepared to meet on Monday.

However, the first day of school was expected to go as scheduled that day.

Two cruise ships have cancelled scheduled visits on Wednesday. (CMC)