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Warnings issued for Bermuda as Hurricane Earl forms in the Atlantic

National Hurricane Center

Tropical storm warnings were issued for Bermuda early Wednesday morning as Hurricane Earl formed in the Atlantic and could intensify into a major storm.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Earl had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph early Wednesday and was located about 490 miles south of the island, moving to the north at 7 mph.

Forecasters say Earl will turn to the north and northeast and increase in speed on Thursday through Saturday. It is expected to pass southeast of Bermuda by Thursday night as a major hurricane with winds peaking at 125 mph by early Saturday morning.

Megan Borowski, a meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network, says Earl should remain off the East Coast and pose no direct threat to the U.S.

"A weather system that has caused heavy rain and widespread flooding from New England through the Ohio and Tennessee valleys and into the Southern Plains is expected to eject into the Atlantic over the next few days," Borowski said. "Winds associated with that system should deflect Earl on a northeastward track."

Forecasters say swells from Earl could reach Bermuda by Wednesday night, producing life-threatening surf and rip currents through Friday.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Danielle strengthened overnight with winds of 80 mph, but continues to move to the northeast and poses no threat to land.

The hurricane center is also monitoring two tropical waves off the coast of Africa.

Information from the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network was used in this report.

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Carl Lisciandrello is digital news editor of WUSF Public Media.