The National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Epsilon formed off Florida’s east coast Monday morning and could be at or near hurricane strength by Thursday.
Epsilon has maximum sustained winds near 40 mph and is located about 735 miles southeast of Bermuda.
Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next 72 hours, and the storm is forecast to approach Bermuda as a hurricane later this week. “All interests in Bermuda should pay close attention to the progress of this storm,” AccuWeather meteorologist Rob Miller said.
The system is not expected to impact the U.S. East Coast.
Another system in the Caribbean has a low chance for development over the next few days. However, “some gradual development of this system is possible late this week while it moves slowly northwestward or north-northwestward over the western Caribbean Sea,” the Hurricane Center said.
With Epsilon’s formation, a total of 26 systems have reached tropical storm strength or greater so far in the Atlantic Ocean this season.
This season – which runs through Nov. 30 – is closing in on the record of 28 named storms set in 2005, according to AccuWeather. That year was the only other year the Greek alphabet has been used.
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