22 October 2020

Epsilon becomes season's 4th major hurricane

Since my previous update on Monday, Tropical Depression 27 quickly strengthened into Tropical Storm Epsilon, the 26th named storm of the 2020 season.  Then it reached Category 1 hurricane intensity on Tuesday night (the 10th hurricane), and Category 3 hurricane intensity on Wednesday night (the 4th major hurricane). 

In this spectacular satellite image showing mid-level water vapor, Epsilon is the green thing in the middle in its envelope of moisture (blues) but is embedded within a huge trough flanked by dry air.  Not something you see every day, or year. Bermuda is the tiny red dot just west of Epsilon.

Fortunately for Bermuda, it is staying further east than originally predicted, so impacts will only be long-distance such as possibly getting periods of tropical storm force winds and large surf as the large and powerful hurricane passes by. Tropical storm force winds extend as much as 310 miles from the center.

Elsewhere in the basin, the pesky area of disturbed weather in the western Caribbean is still festering. 

NHC is giving it a 20% probability of development during the weekend as it drifts by south Florida and the Bahamas.  Regardless of development, it will bring elevated chances of heavy rain with it. Should it happen to reach tropical storm status, the next name on the list is Zeta.