Tropical Storm Nigel is expected to become a hurricane Sunday night, and could be the latest storm in the North Atlantic this season to rapidly intensify to major hurricane status, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday—just one day after Hurricane Lee brought heavy rain and coastal flooding to parts of eastern Canada and Maine.
The National Hurricane Center is warning that Tropical Storm Nigel—the latest named storm of this hurricane season—will most likely become a hurricane Sunday night and will continue intensifying, potentially into a major Category 3 hurricane, over the next couple of days.
As of 5 p.m. Sunday, the NHC estimated the storm had maximum sustained winds near 65 mph; hurricanes have wind speeds of at least 74 mph, and in order to become a major hurricane, winds must reach 111 mph.
The storm was about 1,050 miles off Bermuda as of 5 p.m., and is moving northwest toward the East Coast at about 13 mph, but it is not currently forecasted to make landfall.
Nigel formed as a tropical depression on Friday, at which time forecasters called for the storm to be at least a Category 3 hurricane by Tuesday, though the NHC said that “forecast could be conservative.”
In a Sunday morning update, the NHC said it still expects rapid intensification over the next two to three days and it expects Nigel to peak as a Category 3 hurricane.
Hurricane Lee was the latest major hurricane in the Atlantic, reaching Category 5 at its peak, though by the time it hit Maine and eastern Canada it had been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone. The storm caused more than 93,000 homes and businesses to be without power in Maine on Saturday afternoon, and there were still more than 41,000 without power on Sunday, according to Poweroutage.us.
14. That’s how many named storms have been identified this Atlantic hurricane season, including five hurricanes and nine tropical storms. A typical year sees 14 named storms, seven of which develop into hurricanes, according to the NHC. The season began on June 1 and continues through November 30, though the peak is usually around September 10.