By Lauren Casey


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is upon us and the tropics are acting accordingly with three named systems currently in progress. Hurricane Humberto has strengthened to a major Category 3 storm as it nears the island of Bermuda.

A prolonged period of dangerous hurricane-force winds (74-plus mph) is expected on the island starting this evening and continuing into tonight. The eye of Humberto is likely to pass just to the northwest and north overnight.

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At 5 p.m. Wednesday, a sustained wind of 75 mph and a gust to 104 mph was reported at Ports Island, on the southern end of Bermuda. Humberto is a large hurricane with a hurricane-force wind field extending out 80 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extending outward up to 195 miles.

Large swells continue along the coast of the island. Wave heights exceeding 30 feet have already been reported by an offshore NOAA buoy. Hurricane Humberto will not pose a threat to the U.S. Coastline.

Despite its short lifetime, the flash flooding threat from short-lived Tropical Storm Imelda continues for eastern Texas. The now tropical depression’s heavy rain and slow forward progression could yield total rainfall amounts of 20 to 25 inches for greater Houston and Galveston through Friday.

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Tropical Storm Jerry located in the central Atlantic is likely to become a hurricane as it nears the Leeward Islands on Friday, though it’s too early to determine direct impacts to the island chain.

(Credit: CBS3)

Current model data indicates an increase in wind shear, which weakens tropical systems, and a potential turn away from the U.S. in the long range.