Hurricane Epsilon remains a large and dangerous hurricane, producing swells that are propagating across the Atlantic Ocean.
Epsilon is the earliest 26th named storm in Atlantic History. The previous record was on November 22nd, 2005. The last (and only) time Epsilon was used in 2005, it formed on November 29th. It is the 10th hurricane and 4th major hurricane for the 2020 hurricane season.
This tropical cyclone is not forecast to directly impact Trinidad, Tobago, or the Lesser Antilles.
At 5:00 PM AST, the center of Hurricane Epsilon was located near latitude 39.4 North, longitude 58.2 West. Epsilon is moving toward the northeast near 22 mph (35 km/h). Additional acceleration toward the northeast is expected through Sunday. A continued fast northeastward to east-northeastward motion is forecast to occur Sunday evening into early next week.
Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts. Only slow weakening is expected over the weekend. Epsilon is forecast to become a large and powerful post-tropical cyclone by late Sunday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 425 miles (685 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 958 millibars.
Watches & Warnings
There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.
Hazards Affecting Land
SURF: Large swells generated by Epsilon will affect Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, the Leeward Islands, the east coast of the United States, and Atlantic Canada during the next couple of days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.
This system is of no direct threat to the Windward Islands, including Trinidad and Tobago.
Hurricane Epsilon Forecast Discussion
Epsilon continues to exhibit an inner core of deep convection. In fact, only in the past couple of hours has the eye become difficult to locate in satellite images. A larger comma-shaped cloud shield surrounds the circulation, and extends several hundred miles from the center. Epsilon passed over a buoy array this morning where pressures as low as 957.6 mb were recorded. In addition, a pair of ASCAT overpasses late this morning showed a large area of winds of 60-65 kt in the southern semicircle. This data supported an intensity of 70 kt earlier, and the cyclone’s appearance has not changed much since then. Therefore, the initial intensity remains 70 kt.
The hurricane will likely hold its own for the next 6-12 h as it traverses over waters of about 24 C, while in a fairly favorable atmospheric environment downstream of a mid- to upper-level trough. After 12 h, Epsilon should begin to move over waters of 20 degrees C or less. The combination of the much cooler water temperatures and trough interaction should cause the cyclone to begin an extratropical transition that is forecast to complete by late Sunday. The NHC intensity forecast was nudged a little higher in the 24-48 h time frames due to a slight increase in the guidance, and the latest forecast is very near the HCCA and IVCN consensus models. Regardless of exactly when Epsilon becomes extratropical, it is still expected to remain a very large and powerful cyclone until it merges with a larger low to its north in a few days.
Epsilon is accelerating and is now moving northeastward at 19 kt. The cyclone should continue accelerating toward the northeast through Sunday in the mid-latitude westerlies, and could reach a forward motion of about 40 kt toward the northeast or east-northeast by Sunday evening. This fast motion is expected to continue through early next week. The NHC track forecast is little changed from the previous one, and is in good agreement with the tightly clustered track guidance.
Forecast discussion by NHC Forecaster Latto.