Hurricane Humberto forms in the Atlantic; TS Gabrielle drenches Bermuda

  • Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 8:07 a.m., Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 11:05 a.m.

HAMILTON, Bermuda - Humberto grew to hurricane force far out in the Atlantic early Wednesday, becoming the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, while Bermuda shook off a drenching by Tropical Storm Gabrielle.

Humberto’s maximum sustained winds were near 80 mph (130 kph) and the U.S. National Hurricane Center said it could gain more strength before a weakening trend likely starts, with the storm still far from land. It was centered about 340 miles (550 kilometers) west of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands and was moving north at 9 mph (15 kph).

In Bermuda, meanwhile, Gabrielle caused several power outages overnight, but no major damage was reported on the British Territory.

The government announced that all public schools were reopening and there would be sporadic ferry service.

The island’s meteorology service warned that strong winds and rain will continue to pelt Bermuda as the storm heads north.

Gabrielle was centere d about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west-northwest of Bermuda with winds of up to 45 mph (75 kph), and it was drifting slowly westward at 3 mph (6 kph). It was expected to turn to the north-northeast and remain well off the U.S. East Coast while heading toward a possible weekend brush with Nova Scotia.

It is unusual for this much time to pass in the Atlantic season without a hurricane forming, though not unheard of. Hurricane Gustav was the first of the 2002 season when it formed on Sept. 11 of that year. The record for the latest first-of-the-season hurricane is Oct. 8, 1905, based on records dating to 1851.

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