Hurricane Leslie (C) and Hurricane Michael (R) are seen in this NOAA satellite image taken September 6, 2012
By Caribbean News Now contributor
MIAMI, USA -- Hurricane Leslie was downgraded to a tropical storm on Friday as it started moving again towards Bermuda after stalling in the open Atlantic for several days. Leslie is expected to regain hurricane strength before passing to the east of the island on Sunday.
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, at 5:00 pm EDT Friday, the centre of Tropical Storm Leslie was located about 375 miles south-southeast of Bermuda and moving toward the north near 5 mph. This motion, with a gradual increase in forward speed is expected during the next 48 hours. On the forecast track, the centre of Leslie will be passing east of Bermuda on Sunday.
Maximum sustained winds were near 65 mph, with higher gusts, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles from the centre. Tropical storm conditions are possible on Bermuda by early Sunday.
Swells generated by Leslie will continue to affect Bermuda, the US east coast from central Florida northward, the Canadian Maritimes, the northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands for the next several days. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Farther out in the Atlantic, Hurricane Michael, the first Category 3 storm of the 2012 hurricane season, has been downgraded to Category 2, with maximum sustained winds near 105 mph.
Michael was moving northwest near 3 mph, about 930 miles west-southwest of the Azores, and was not a threat to land. This general motion is expected for the next couple of days. Slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.