Hurricane Nicole, which strengthened this afternoon to a strong Category 2 storm with 110 mph winds, has tiny Bermuda in its sites.
The storm, described as having a “very impressive satellite presentation”, is forecast to be near Bermuda Thursday morning on a track that will then take it out into the Atlantic.
At the 5 p.m. advisory, National Hurricane Center forecasters said warm waters and low wind shear could lead the storm to strengthen to 115 mph winds. That would bump up Nicole to a Category 3 tropical cyclone. Category 3 storms are between 111 mph and 129 mph.
National Hurricane Center forecasters said Nicole has a 34-mile-wide eye and a minimum central pressure of 969 mb. Hurricane-force winds extend up to 45 miles from the center with tropical-storm-force winds extending out up to 160 miles.
Nicole is the third longest-lived Atlantic tropical cyclone of the 2016 hurricane season surpassing Karl and trailing Gaston and Matthew, according to Colorado State University researcher Phil Klotzbach.
A storm surge of up to 8 feet could overrun Bermuda’s coast. Bermuda is under a hurricane warning.