HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) — Humberto grew to hurricane force far out in the Atlantic on Wednesday, becoming the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, while Bermuda shook off a drenching by Tropical Storm Gabrielle.
Humberto’s maximum sustained winds were near 85 mph (140 kph) and the U.S. National Hurricane Center said it could gain more strength by Thursday morning, but a gradual weakening would begin at that time.
The storm was centered about 360 miles (575 kilometers) west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands and was moving north at 12 mph (19 kph) into the open Atlantic.
In Bermuda, Gabrielle caused several power outages overnight, but no major damage was reported on the British territory.
The government announced that all public schools were reopening and there would be sporadic ferry service.
The island’s meteorology service warned that strong winds and rain would continue to pelt Bermuda as the storm headed north.
By late afternoon, Gabrielle was centered about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west-northwest of Bermuda with winds of up to 40 mph (65 kph), and it was moving westward at 5 mph (7 kph). It was expected to turn to the north-northeast and remain well off the U.S. East Coast while heading toward a possible weekend brush with Nova Scotia.
It is unusual for this much time to pass in the Atlantic season without a hurricane forming, though not unheard of. Hurricane Gustav was the first of the 2002 season when it formed on Sept. 11 of that year. The record for the latest first-of-the-season hurricane is Oct. 8, 1905, based on records dating to 1851.