Major Hurricane Humberto Forecast To Lash Bermuda

As of 12:00 PM Wednesday AST, the National Hurricane Center continues to issue advisories on the system, 310 kilometers west of Bermuda.

The center of Hurricane Humberto was located and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 32.2 North, longitude 68.1 West. Humberto is now moving toward the east-northeast near 26 KM/H. This general motion with an additional increase in forward speed is expected through early Thursday, followed by a northeastward to north-northeastward motion through Friday. On the forecast track, the core of Humberto is expected to pass just to the northwest and north of Bermuda later tonight.

Reports from the reconnaissance aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 195 KM/H with higher gusts. Humberto is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir- Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or so, but Humberto should remain a powerful hurricane through early Thursday while it passes close to Bermuda. A steady weakening trend should begin later on Thursday.

Humberto is a large hurricane and continues to grow in size. Hurricane-force winds now extend outward up to 165 kilometers from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 315 kilometers based on reports from the Hurricane Hunter aircraft.

The minimum central pressure recently measured by the reconnaissance
aircraft was 952 millibars.

Hurricane Humberto's Forecast Cone as of 11:00 AM Wednesday 18th September 2019. Credit: National Hurricane Center
Hurricane Humberto’s Forecast Cone as of 11:00 AM Wednesday 18th September 2019. Credit: National Hurricane Center

Watches & Warnings

Hurricane Humberto’s Watches and Warnings as of 11:00 AM Wednesday 18th September 2019. Credit: National Hurricane Center

A hurricane warning is in effect for Bermuda. Hurricane warnings indicate that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the specified area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds to allow for important preparation.

Hazards Affecting Land

Wind: Hurricane conditions are expected to reach Bermuda this evening and continue into early Thursday morning. Winds are expected to reach tropical-storm strength later this afternoon, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

Rainfall: Humberto may bring periods of heavy rain to Bermuda through Thursday, with rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches with maximum amounts of 6 inches expected.

These rainfall totals may produce significant to life-threatening flash floods.

Seas: Large swells generated by Humberto will increase along the coast of Bermuda today. Dangerous breaking waves, especially along south-facing beaches, will be possible Wednesday night into Thursday and could cause coastal flooding. Wave heights exceeding 30 feet have already been reported by an offshore NOAA buoy.

Swells will continue to affect the northwestern Bahamas and the southeastern coast of the United States from east-central Florida to North Carolina during the next couple of days.

These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office and the Bermuda Weather Service.

Storm Surge: Storm surge and breaking waves could raise water levels by 1 to 3 feet above normal tide levels along the immediate southern coast of Bermuda.


This hurricane is of no threat to the Windward Islands, including Trinidad and Tobago.

Hurricane Humberto Discussion

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft conducting a reconnoiter of Humberto this morning found that the intensity of the major hurricane had increased slightly, but that the inner-core 64- and 50-kt wind fields had expanded significantly, now extending outward up to at least 90 n mi and 110 n mi, respectively, in the southeastern quadrant. During their pass through the southeastern quadrant, the aircraft measured 700-mb flight-level winds of 120 kt, but peak SFMR winds of only 97 kt.

Given that convection is minimal in that quadrant, the normal downward mixing is likely not occurring, the intensity has only been increased to 105 kt. The aircraft also measured a central pressure of 952 mb with a dropsonde, which is close to the pressure of 954.2 mb with 30-kt winds that NOAA buoy 41048 measured in the eye around 0930 UTC.

The initial motion estimate remains 065/14 kt. Humberto is beginning to feel the effects of a deep-layer trough approaching from the west, and the hurricane should continue to accelerate toward the east-northeast through tonight, passing just north and northwest of Bermuda, followed by a turn toward the northeast by early Thursday afternoon. By 48 hours or so, Humberto is forecast to turn back toward the east-northeast and maintain that motion through day 5 as a ridge to the east of the cyclone weakens and flattens out. The new NHC track forecast is very similar to the previous one for the first 36 hours, and then is a little faster and to the left of the previous advisory thereafter, closer to the tightly-packed consensus track model guidance.

Humberto may have peaked in intensity based on the cloud pattern in satellite imagery beginning to take on the appearance of an extratropical cyclone. Thus, some fluctuations in strength could occur during the next 12 hours or so. Thereafter, very strong southwesterly vertical wind shear and cold upwelling beneath the hurricane should disrupt the inner-core convection and organization, resulting in steady weakening. By 72 hours, the global models continue to show Humberto merging with a frontal system and the NHC intensity forecast calls for the extratropical transition by that time. The official intensity forecast follows the corrected-consensus models HCCA and FSSE through the next 12-24 hours, and then is above that guidance through the remainder of the forecast period, closer to an average of the global models.

Key Messages:

  1. A prolonged period of dangerous winds is expected on Bermuda from late this afternoon through Thursday morning, with hurricane-force winds expected overnight tonight. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
  2. Storm surge and dangerous breaking waves could cause coastal flooding tonight and Thursday along the southern coast of Bermuda.
  3. Swells will continue to affect the northwestern Bahamas and the southeastern coast of the United States from east-central Florida to North Carolina during the next couple of days, creating life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Forecast Discussion by Forecaster Stewart from the NHC.

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