THURSDAY, SEPT. 6, 12PM UPDATE: Hurricane Leslie is likely to pass around 114 miles off Bermuda at noon on Sunday, according to the latest forecast.
The Bermuda Weather Service said at noon today that Hurricane Leslie is continuing to move north at two knots and was around 360 miles south south-east of the island.
It is likely to hit Category 2 status on Saturday morning.
Forecasters predict that winds in Bermuda will begin to pick up on Friday evening, with gale force and storm force winds on Saturday.
But the strongest winds – hurricane force – will strike the island early on Sunday, along with thunderstorms, passes to the east of the island.
*Image courtesy of the Bermuda Weather Service (refresh page for latest image)
Jeff Torgerson of the Bermuda Weather Service said: “The track is still in the forecast envelope, although the storm is to the right, or east, of Bermuda.”
But he warned: “We still expect tropical storm force winds across the region on Saturday afternoon and storm force winds with hurricane force gusts [on Sunday] as the storm moves north and east.”
Hurricane Leslie appeared on Wednesday to be on target to score a direct hit on the island — but its expected track has shifted to the east overnight.
Mr Torgerson said: “It might shift back a bit — we can’t rule that out — but it looks like it will pass us to the east.”
He added: “We are still expecting a significant storm — it’s best to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”