Tropical Storm Chris is predicted to become a hurricane by this afternoon, according to the Bermuda Weather Service.
The storm, which has lingered to the west of Bermuda, is forecast to come within 347 miles of the island at 1pm on Wednesday, it’s closest point within the next 72 hours.
But the BWS warned it may move closer after that, depending upon its track.
It said: “As high pressure increases, the cold front to the north of Tropical Storm Chris will weaken, reducing wind shear and allowing the storm to intensify so that it is likely to become a hurricane at some point today.”
The BWS added: “Models are in good agreement for Tropical Storm Chris to move quickly north-eastward through Wednesday as it gets caught in the flow of a shortwave trough.”
The BWS expects “no significant impact” on Bermuda, “with the exception of seas increasing to steady moderate and chance of sustained winds of 20kt towards dawn”.
A small craft warning has been issued for this morning and into this afternoon.
The BWS said the island should see “fairly stable conditions with sunny spells” and possibly a few showers today as the Bermuda-Azores High extends a ridge over the area.
But it added: “Once Chris is north of Bermuda, as the surface ridge of high pressure starts to decline, a trailing cold front associated with TS Chris will move across during Wednesday night and Thursday.”
At 6am, Chris was 530 miles west of Bermuda, with winds of about 70mph and higher gusts.
The US National Hurricane Centre yesterday said the Chris was headed towards the northeast at about 2mph, with the storm forecast to pick up speed.
“Chris is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane later today and some additional strengthening is expected through Wednesday night.
“Chris is forecast to become a strong post-tropical cyclone by Thursday night or early Friday.”