Hurricane Igor: Will it reach Bermuda?
Hurricane Igor could weaken and be over Bermuda by Sunday, forecasters say. But the path could change.
Hurricane Igor had lost some of its punch by Tuesday morning, although it's still a powerful Category 4 storm.
As of 11 a.m. Eastern time Tuesday, Igor carried maximum sustained winds of 135 miles an hour, compared with winds of 150 miles an hour late Monday afternoon. Hurricane-force winds extend up to 85 miles from the eye, with tropical-storm winds reaching out as far as 195 miles.
Although the storm has worked its way closer to the northern Leeward Islands, it remains some 710 miles to the east of the islands and is expected to turn toward the northwest on Wednesday, according to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The updated five-day track puts the center of a weakening Igor over Bermuda by Sunday morning, but the center's forecasters caution against putting too much stock in the location of Igor that day – for now.
Track forecasts with that kind of lead time still have errors of a few hundred miles on either side of the projected path, they say.
Forecasters say they expect Igor's strength to increase during the next 24 hours. Wherever it ends up on Sunday, however, Igor will probably be a shadow of its former self. The storm's hurricane-force winds are expected to have weakened to a still-respectable 103 miles an hour.
Forecasters are also tracking Julia off to Igor's east. This storm had reached hurricane status by Tuesday morning and is 335 miles west of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands.
Julia currently is heading into the open Atlantic as a Category 1 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 85 miles an hour. Although forecasters say they expect Julia to strengthen a bit over the next few days, it will probably weaken after that as it travels over cooler water.
Meanwhile, in the Caribbean, a broad patch of storm clouds between the southern coast of Cuba and the underside of the Yucatán Peninsula stands a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours, forecasters say. If that occurs, it would be named Karl, the 11th named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.
The storm system threatens to pummel portions of Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico, the Cayman Islands, and Belize with heavy rain, even if it fails to strengthen, forecasters say. The rains, they add, could trigger potentially life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, especially in mountain areas.