Tropical storm Leslie added 5 mph to its peak wind speed (up to 75 mph), becoming the 6th hurricane in the Atlantic in the 2012 season. It’s positioned 465 miles south-southeast of Bermuda and slowly headed in that direction. It may be in the island’s vicinity Saturday or Sunday.
Link: Hurricane Tracker
The 6 hurricanes so far in 2012 matches the average number in an entire season slightly less than half way through. NOAA’s updated hurricane forecast called for 5-8 hurricanes, 2 to 3 of which would be major (category 3 or higher). So far, there have been no major hurricanes.
While forecasting hurricane intensity is highly uncertain, Leslie has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane. By Saturday, the National Hurricane Center predicts its peak winds will be 110 mph - which is right at the major hurricane threshold (category 3 storms have maximum winds of at least 111 mph).
We’ll have more on Leslie and the rest of the tropics tomorrow.