1 of 2 | NOAA hurricane hunters on Tuesday found Hurricane Nigel to be a strengthening storm in the Atlantic. File Photo by James B. Pritchett/US Air Force | License Photo
Sept. 19 (UPI) — NOAA hurricane hunters have found that Nigel continues to strengthen, storm forecasters said Tuesday evening.
In its 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday update, National Hurricane Center forecasters said Nigel has grown into a Category 2 storm. It was located about 590 miles east of Bermuda and moving north-northwest at 14 mph.
The NHC said data collected by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane hunters indicate that the storm’s maximum sustained winds have increased to about 100 mph, with higher gusts possible.
Forecasters said a turn toward the north is expected Tuesday night, followed by an acceleration toward the northeast throughout the rest of the week.
Some additional wind strengthening is possible through early Wednesday, forecasters said, adding that weakening is expected on Thursday and Friday.
Still, the storm is expected to become a major hurricane by Friday.
Currently, hurricane-force winds can be felt 60 miles from the center, while tropical storm-force winds extend as far as 175 miles from the storm’s center.
Swells will hit Bermuda in the next couple of days, and they are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip-current conditions, forecasters warned.
Forecasters still have not issued coastal watches or warnings because of the storm’s location far removed from land.
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