Igor's closest point of approach to Bermuda is now expected around 2am Monday, 10 nautical miles east of the island (updated at 3pm Friday).<br /><em>*NOAA/Weather Service image</em>
Igor's closest point of approach to Bermuda is now expected around 2am Monday, 10 nautical miles east of the island (updated at 3pm Friday).
*NOAA/Weather Service image

FRIDAY, SEPT. 17, 10am: A ‘hurricane watch’ is now in place for Bermuda with a direct hit from Igor expected early Monday morning.

The massive storm is advancing slowly towards the island and is expected to be a Category 2 or Category 3 hurricane when it makes landfall.

As of the 9am forecast today, the eye of the storm is expected to pass within 11 nautical miles (13 miles) of Bermuda at 2am on Monday.

Hurricane force winds will buffet the island for at least eight hours, from 9pm on Sunday until 5am on Monday.

The National Hurricane Centre in Miami put an official ‘hurricane watch’ in place for Bermuda at midnight local time yesterday.

That means there are now 48 hours for residents to make their final storm preparations before the onset of tropical storm force winds.

Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the NHC, said forecasters would now be putting out updates every three hours.

He added: “It is going to be very close to the island and it is a very big storm.”

Nick Camizzy, duty meteorologist at the Bermuda Weather Centre, said it was still difficult to say which direction the winds would come from.

He said Bermudians should prepare for both directions and anticipate a long, drawn out hurricane with tropical storm force winds affecting the island for an estimated 36 hours.

Igor is an unusually large storm. At 470 nautical miles (540 miles) it is 50 per cent larger than Fabian, which was considered a large hurricane.

Its position at 9am this morning was 632 nautical miles (727miles)  south/south-east of Bermuda.