Hurricane Humberto strengthens, grows, threatens Bermuda with dangerous winds

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Hurricane Humberto continues to approach Bermuda as a dangerous category 3 storm with sustained winds now having reached 120 mph and an expanding wind-field, leading the National Hurricane Center to warn of the risk of a prolonged period of dangerous winds for the island.

Hurricane Humberto, the eighth named storm and third hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic tropical storm season, is forecast to track just to the north of Bermuda, with a path that could take the eye within around 100 miles of the island.

But the hurricane force wind-field has expanded, as Humberto strengthened and grew today, with hurricane winds expanding outward up to 105 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds up to 195 miles.

Hurricane Humberto forecast path or track

As a result, the NOAA’s National Hurricane Center is now warning that, “A prolonged period of dangerous winds is expected on Bermuda from late this afternoon through Thursday morning, with hurricane-force winds expected overnight tonight.”

In addition, “Storm surge and dangerous breaking waves could cause coastal flooding tonight and Thursday along the southern coast of Bermuda.”

We’d urge all our insurance, reinsurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) friends and readers on the island to ensure they are prepared and ready to hunker down as hurricane Humberto approaches.

Thankfully it does look like Humberto will remain on its track slightly north of Bermuda, sparing the island from what could have been much more severe impacts.

However, it’s important not to be complacent as Humberto’s path could still wobble on approach, bringing stronger winds into contact with Bermuda. Hence the insurance, reinsurance and ILS community will need to keep a close eye on the storm over the coming hours.

Looking further out, tropical storm Jerry has now formed from invest 97L or TD 10 and is still modelled with a track that is forecast to head in Bermuda’s vicinity as well, meaning those on the island should keep an eye on forecasts over the coming days even after Humberto has passed by.

Bermuda is very well prepared for hurricanes, having strict building codes and experienced plenty in the past, but any storm has the potential to result in damage or danger to lives, hence caution is urged.

We wish all our friends and contacts in Bermuda well while Humberto passes by.

Below is the latest intensity model output from TropicalTidbits.com

Tropical storm or hurricane Dorian intensity forecast

NOAA’s latest full update on hurricane Humberto is below:

At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Humberto was located and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 32.2 North, longitude 68.1 West. Humberto is now moving toward the east-northeast near 16 mph (26 km/h). This general motion with an additional increase in forward speed is expected through early Thursday, followed by a northeastward to north-northeastward motion through Friday. On the forecast track, the
core of Humberto is expected to pass just to the northwest and north of Bermuda later tonight.

Reports from the reconnaissance aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 120 mph (195 km/h) with higher gusts. Humberto is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or so, but Humberto should remain a powerful hurricane through early Thursday while it passes close to Bermuda. A steady weakening trend should begin later on Thursday.

Humberto is a large hurricane and continues to grow in size. Hurricane-force winds now extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km) based on reports from the Hurricane Hunter aircraft.

The minimum central pressure recently measured by the reconnaissance aircraft was 952 mb (28.12 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected to reach Bermuda this evening and continue into early Thursday morning. Winds are expected to reach tropical-storm strength later this afternoon, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

RAINFALL: Humberto may bring periods of heavy rain to Bermuda through Thursday, with rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches with maximum amounts of 6 inches expected.

SURF: Large swells generated by Humberto will increase along the coast of Bermuda today. Dangerous breaking waves, especially along south-facing beaches, will be possible Wednesday night into Thursday, and could cause coastal flooding. Wave heights exceeding 30 feet have already been reported by an offshore NOAA buoy.

Swells will continue to affect the northwestern Bahamas and the southeastern coast of the United States from east-central Florida to North Carolina during the next couple of days.

These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office and the Bermuda Weather Service.

STORM SURGE: Storm surge and breaking waves could raise water levels by 1 to 3 feet above normal tide levels along the immediate southern coast of Bermuda.

We will update you on hurricane Humberto as it proceeds and the threat it could pose to global insurance, reinsurance and ILS market interests.

You can always visit our 2019 Atlantic hurricane season page for the latest and we will update you throughout the season.

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