U.S. forecasters say Hurricane Epsilon has dropped in intensity after being upgraded overnight to a Category 3 storm on the scale that measures hurricane strength.
Epsilon, now a strong Category 2 storm, is still expected to cause tropical storm conditions on the island of Bermuda.
The latest report from the National Hurricane Center Thursday had Epsilon 385 kilometers east - south east of Bermuda, with maximum winds of 155 kilometers per hour. Epsilon is expected to miss Bermuda when it makes its closest approach Thursday or Friday.
Forecasters say on Wednesday, when the storm rapidly intensified, its winds reached 185 kilometers per hour, leading to the upgraded designation. A U.S. Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft flew into the eye of the storm late Wednesday and found it to be 22 kilometers across and dramatically well-defined, an indication of the storm's intensity.
Epsilon became fourth major hurricane of the 2020 season, along with Laura, Teddy, and Delta, and the second major hurricane to form in October. Meteorologists say only six other years have seen two major hurricanes form in October and no season on record has had more than two.
Epsilon had already set records for rapid intensification at its position and this late in the season Tuesday into Wednesday when it went from being tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane. It is also the 26th named storm to form this hurricane season.
The storm is generating dangerous surf and rip currents conditions in areas ranging from the Bahamas and Leeward islands to the south and Canada to the north.