Tropical storm Leslie, the 12th named storm of the Atlantic season, has been brewing in the mid-Atlantic for the last few days, building in strength, but the storms eventual path and intensity has been uncertain. The forecast models remain diverged on the eventual track Leslie will take, but they are beginning to come together and right now the forecast points to tropical storm Leslie becoming hurricane Leslie by the end of the week and then heading in the direction of Bermuda as a category 2 hurricane on Sunday.
Currently, tropical storm Leslie is in the mid-Atlantic to the south of Bermuda and forecast to track almost directly for the island. Tropical storm Leslie currently has maximum sustained winds of 65mph with some higher gusts. A large tropical storm, Leslie has tropical storm force winds extending outwards as much as 205 miles from the centre. That is concerning for Bermuda as it means even if Leslie deviates from her track there is still a good chance Bermuda will be hit a glancing blow.
Tropical storm Leslie’s forwards movement is expected to be erratic over the next few days, making her forecast path a little uncertain. The forecast models diverge, with one even showing Leslie heading for the U.S. northeast coast. However, the consensus at the moment is for Leslie to become a strong hurricane and pass very close to Bermuda. While not likely to cause a market changing loss event, a direct hit from a category 2 hurricane on Bermuda would cause significant damage and disruption to the reinsurance industry given the number of companies based there.
We’ll update you on tropical storm Leslie’s progress towards the end of the week when the forecast path becomes a little more certain. You can view the storms development on our 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season page and see tropical storm Leslie’s current position below.