Humberto strengthens to Category 2 hurricane

Storm moves further east into the Atlantic

By Hollie Silverman, CNN

FREEPORT, Bahamas - Humberto has been upgraded to a category 2 hurricane as it moves farther east into the Atlantic Ocean and away from land.

The Bahamas dodged the brunt of Humberto as it passed by Saturday with sustained winds around 70 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm picked up speed as it moved away from the islands and strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane, with winds of 75 mph, Sunday night, the center said.

As of 800 AM EDT the large and ragged eye of Hurricane Humberto was located near latitude 30.6 North, longitude 74.0 West.  Humberto is moving toward the east-northeast near 8 mph.  This general motion with a gradual increase in forward speed is expected through early Thursday.  On the forecast track, the center of Humberto is expected to approach Bermuda Wednesday night.

Data from the Hurricane Hunters aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 100 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 36 hours, and Humberto is expected to become a major hurricane by tonight or Wednesday morning.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles.

The minimum central pressure recently measured by the reconnaissance aircraft was 961 mb or 28.38 inches.

High surf and heavy rains will continue to be an issue throughout the week in Bermuda, the NHC said.

Swells will also impact the northwestern Bahamas and southeastern coast of the United States from east-central Florida up to North Carolina in the coming days, creating dangerous rip currents.

Forecasters are now monitoring at least two tropical disturbances, one in the Gulf of Mexico and the other in the Atlantic Ocean several hundred miles off the coast of Venezuela, as hurricane season continues.

The disturbance in the Atlantic is forecast to move north-northwest in the coming days and could strengthen into a hurricane by Friday.

Those living in Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands should be prepared for a possible hurricane by late next week.

The system in the Gulf of Mexico is forecast to bring rain to the Texas coast this week, Guy said.

 

The Bahamas is still recovering from Dorian

 

There was concern about what Humberto would bring to the Bahamas, where hundreds are still missing after the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama. The death toll currently stands at 50 but search and rescue teams are still searching through destroyed neighborhoods.

The islands did get some rain, CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam said, but did not get Humberto's full impact.

"They were spared the heaviest rain and the strongest winds, which were centered north and east of the storm," Van Dam said, adding the storm surge in the Bahamas was negligible.

Many people have been displaced following the devastating storm and at least 1,300 people were still listed as missing as of Thursday.

About 3,900 evacuees have been processed through south Florida by air and sea so far, officials said, with few being turned away.

The number includes US citizens, legal residents, Bahamians and people from other countries who evacuated the islands after the storm hit.

Palm Beach County, Florida, has begun enrolling displaced students fleeing Dorian's damage. Backpacks loaded with school supplies are being provided to the students by the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, which plans to open its school supply store so evacuated families can shop for free, district spokeswoman Julie Houston Trieste said.

CNN's Michael Guy, Madeline Holcombe, Christina Maxouris, Jason Hanna and Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.

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