Tropical Storm Gabrielle Buffets Bermuda, First Hurricane of 2013 Season Forms: AIR

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BOSTON, Sept. 11, 2013 – According to catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide, one day after regenerating into a tropical storm after fizzling in the Caribbean last week, Gabrielle’s center came within 65 km (40 miles) west-southwest of Bermuda this morning. As of the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) 11 a.m. AST advisory today, Gabrielle was about 90 km (55 miles) west of Bermuda and has moved little over the past few hours.

“The storm’s maximum sustained winds weakened to 80 km/h (50 mph), although tropical storm force wind gusts could continue to affect Bermuda for the next few hours, especially at higher elevations,” said Scott Stransky, senior scientist at AIR Worldwide. “The storm is expected to produce between 25 and 75 mm (1 and 3 inches) of rain over Bermuda, and the island will continue to experience rough surf today as well as a storm surge of 0.6 to 0.9 meters (2 to 3 feet).”

The Bermuda Weather Service, however, discontinued its tropical storm warning for Bermuda this morning.

Bermuda was well prepared for Gabrielle’s arrival, and the storm caused few disruptions. Yesterday, schools, government offices, and commercial businesses had remained open. The airport also remained open yesterday, but flights were canceled between the island and New York, Newark, Miami, Toronto, and London.

Stransky noted, “Gabrielle is barely hanging on as a tropical cyclone and is not expected to gain strength as it moves slowly northwestward later today and through tonight before gradually moving north-northeastward tomorrow toward Canada’s Maritime Provinces.”

According to AIR, Bermuda’s building code is extremely strict; no reports of structural damage have been reported.

“The first hurricane of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season-Hurricane Humberto-developed this morning, just hours shy of the record for latest first Atlantic hurricane in the satellite era (held byTropical Storm Gabrielle Gustav, which developed at 8.a.m. EDT, September 11, 2002),” said Dr. Tim Doggett, senior principal scientist at AIR Worldwide. “Humberto developed maximum sustained winds of 120 km/h (75 mph) to just barely qualify as a hurricane this morning. It is moving north-northwestward at 13 km/h (8 mph) and is located in the far Eastern Atlantic. It is not expected to come near land and should weaken after about a day when it encounters increased wind shear, cooler waters, and drier air.”

AIR continues to monitor the progress of Gabrielle and will provide additional updates as warranted by events.

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