Hurricane Bill Strengthens to Category 4 Storm17.3N 56.2W
Bill (02L) has strengthened to a Category Four Hurricane, whose center is located about 460 miles (740 km) east of the Leeward Islands.
Bill is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/hr) and a gradual turn toward the northwest is expected during the next 24 to 48 hours. On this track, the core of this dangerous hurricane will be passing well to the northeast of the northern Leeward Islands late today and early Thursday.
The animated image shows the movement of Bill today and its well-developed eye. The still image, on the other hand, shows the temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean and the past and forecast track of the hurricane, which is expected to move northwest towards warmer waters.
Maximum sustained winds are near 135 mph (215 km/hr) with higher gusts. Bill is a category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with some additional strengthening forecast during the next 24 hours.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 948 mb (27.99 inches).
Large swells associated with Bill will be impacting the islands of the northeast Caribbean Sea during the next day or two. Large swells associated with Bill should also begin to affect Bermuda and portions of the southeastern coast of the United States Friday and Saturday.