Intense Hurricane Igor begins turn northward
Igor's path now takes it directly towards Bermuda. Igor is expected to remain a major hurricane until the middle of the weekend when it will drop to a strong Category 2 storm as it passes over the island. A slight shift in Igor's path could make the difference between a bad weather event or an extreme pounding.
`Dangerous' Igor Heads Toward Bermuda as Hurricane Julia Forms to the East(Bloomberg)
Hurricane Igor, the season’s most powerful storm, headed toward Bermuda on a track that may threaten the island group this weekend, while Julia became the fifth hurricane of the season today over the eastern Atlantic.
Igor was still a “dangerous” Category 4 storm, the second strongest on the 5-step Saffir-Simpson scale, after its winds dropped to 135 miles (215 kilometers) an hour from 150 mph yesterday, the National Hurricane Center said on its website at 4:45 a.m. Miami time. The storm was 750 miles east of the Caribbean’s Leeward Islands heading west-northwest at 8 mph.
Both Igor and Julia, with 75 mph winds behind it, are forecast to head into the north Atlantic while a collection of thunderstorms in the Caribbean is predicted to move west into Mexico and avoid the Gulf of Mexico, which accounts for 31 percent of the U.S. oil output, computer models show.
“Swells generated by Igor will begin affecting the Leeward Islands today and will reach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands tonight and Wednesday,” the center said. “These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”
The center’s prediction map shows Igor weakening while heading almost directly for Bermuda early on Sept. 19. Tropical Storm Risk, a London-based venture that grew out of a U.K. government-supported tsunami initiative, gives the islands a 10 percent chance of being struck by a hurricane bearing winds of at least 74 mph within five days.