Hurricane Humberto continues to expand and is expected to brush past Bermuda, where thousands of people were preparing Wednesday for heavy rainfall and powerful wind gusts.
Authorities said the Category 3 storm, now officially considered a major hurricane, was packing 120 mph winds and even higher gusts.
Humberto’s latest track, however, suggests its core won’t make landfall. The National Hurricane Center said the storm would pass just north of Bermuda on Wednesday night.
The British territory, where about 71,000 people live, was likely to see tropical storm-force winds and about 6 inches of rain through Thursday morning. As of 11 a.m., the center of the storm was located 195 miles west of Bermuda and was moving northeast at 16 mph, official said.
The hurricane center urged the island to prepare for dangerous conditions as soon as possible.
“Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion,” the agency said in its latest advisory.
...HUMBERTO'S EYE PASSES DIRECTLY OVER A NOAA BUOY... ...OUTER RAINBANDS BEGINNING TO AFFECT BERMUDA... A Hurricane...
Schools, government buildings and ferries in Bermuda were expected to close at noon, with bus service stopping at 4 p.m., according to The Associated Press.
Humberto was one of several storms officials are tracking this week. Earlier on Wednesday, a depression in the Caribbean was upgraded to the 10th named tropical storm of the season — Jerry. The storm was forecast to hit the northern Leeward Islands Thursday night or Friday.
Another tropical storm, Imelda, was dumping heavy rain over parts of Texas while two other storms, Lorena and Mario, were moving off Mexico’s Pacific Coast on Wednesday.