Hurricane Leslie Moving Slowly Towards Bermuda; Michael is 1st Cat 3 Storm

September 6, 2012

Leslie has become a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, 120 km/h. A gradual strengthening is forecast over the next 48 hours.

The latest bulletin, posted at 5:00 a.m. AST, from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said the storm’s center was “about 440 miles, 705 km, south-southeast of Bermuda,” and it is presently moving north at around one mph, 1.6km/h.

The NHC described Leslie as a “large tropical cyclone” with hurricane force winds extending “outward up to 25 miles, 35 km, from the center and tropical storm force winds extending outward up to 195 miles, 315 km,” from the center.

Michael has become the first category three hurricane of the year. The NHC’s 5:00 a.m. AST bulletin said “maximum sustained winds have increased to near, 115 mph, 185 km/h, with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast today, with some gradual weakening possible by Friday.”

It is a relatively small storm with hurricane force winds extending outward up to 15 miles, 30 km, from the center, and tropical storm force winds extending outward up to 70 miles, 110 km. Estimated minimum central pressure is a rather low 965 mb, 28.50 inches.

Michael is currently in the middle of the Atlantic, where it poses no immediate threat to land. It is moving toward the northeast at around near 7 mph, 11 km/h, and the NHC said a “turn to the north and north-northwest with a decrease in forward speed is expected during the next 48 hours.”

On that track it could possibly strike North America somewhere in Newfoundland, but, unless it changes direction, it does not appear that it will threaten any land areas.

Source: National Hurricane Center

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