By Caribbean News Now contributor
MIAMI, USA — Tropical Storm Gabrielle strengthened on Tuesday afternoon as it approached Bermuda, where a tropical storm warning was in effect.
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, at 5:00 pm EDT on Tuesday, the centre of Gabrielle was located by an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft about 55 miles south of Bermuda, moving toward the north near 10 mph. This general motion was expected to continue Tuesday night, with a turn toward the north-northwest and a decrease in forward speed expected on Wednesday.
On the forecast track, Gabrielle was expected to pass over or near Bermuda during Tuesday evening.
Data from the aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 60 mph, with higher gusts. A little additional strengthening is possible in the next 48 hours. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the centre.
L.F. Wade International Airport on Bermuda reported sustained wind of 32 mph. An elevated station at Commissioners Point on Bermuda reported sustained wind of 47 mph and a wind gust of 59 mph.
Tropical storm conditions will continue on Bermuda into Wednesday and Gabrielle is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches over the island, with isolated maximum totals of 6 inches possible. A storm surge of 2 to 3 feet above normal tide levels is expected and rough surf conditions will continue to affect Bermuda through Wednesday.