Tropical Storm Leslie weakened as it picked up momentum heading north in the Atlantic Ocean on a track past Bermuda.
Leslie’s path may take the storm east of Bermuda over the weekend, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 5 p.m. East Coast time. The system was 375 miles (603 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda with winds of 65 miles per hour, down from 70 mph. It may regain hurricane strength in a day or two, the agency said.
Leslie, which had been a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, weakened today after it stalled and began churning up colder water from deeper in the ocean. Water temperatures below the storm have dropped 8 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius) in the past few days, Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said in a telephone interview.
The storm’s current track takes it past Bermuda on Sept. 9, stirring high surf there and on the U.S. East Coast, and then toward eastern Newfoundland. It’s forecast to weaken to a tropical storm again as it reaches the Canadian province.
“For the average person living on Bermuda, this is going to be a wimp,” Dan Kottlowski, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania, said in a telephone interview.
Newfoundland was hit in 2010 by Hurricane Igor, which followed a similar path. Winds of 105 mph were recorded with as much as 9.4 inches of rain washing out roads.
The Fire and Emergency Services of Newfoundland and Labrador said it’s monitoring Leslie’s track.
“They should be concerned, they’ve been hit pretty hard by hurricanes in past,” Masters said. “Fortunately, on the current forecast trajectory, it looks like the storm will pass just east of Newfoundland, and the east is the weak side of storm.”
North Atlantic Refining Ltd. has a 115,000 barrel-a-day refinery in Come-By-Chance, Newfoundland, 90 miles west of the provincial capital of St. John’s.
East of Leslie, Hurricane Michael, a Category 2 storm, crept northwest with 105 mph winds, the NHC said. The system may drop to tropical storm status over colder waters early next week, the center said. It poses no threat to land in the next five days.
The Miami-based NHC is also tracking a remnant of Hurricane Isaac that re-entered the Gulf of Mexico and has a 20 percent chance of becoming a tropical system within two days.