Bermuda waits for Category 3 Humberto

US authorities have warned that Hurricane Humberto will hit Bermuda by Wednesday.
US authorities have warned that Hurricane Humberto will hit Bermuda by Wednesday.

Hurricane Humberto has grown into a powerful Category 3 storm and officials on Bermuda have made plans for early shutdowns of schools, public transportation and government offices.

National Security Minister Wayne Caines told reporters that schools, government offices and ferries on the island would close at noon on Wednesday and bus service would end at 4pm as officials prepare for Humberto.

Officials said winds are expected to start hitting Bermuda by mid-Wednesday afternoon and last until early on Thursday morning.

Humberto is predicted to pass just to the north of Bermuda, but a small shift in track could bring the storm over the island itself.

The US National Hurricane Center said Humberto's maximum sustained winds strengthened to 185km/h and it would probably remain a Category 3 hurricane through Thursday though there could be some fluctuations in its winds.

Bermuda was expected to see rainfall of up to 10cm, with large swells along the coast.

Tropical Storm Imelda, meanwhile, swept ashore on Texas' Gulf coast and weakened into a tropical depression, but still threatened to deluge parts of southwest Texas and southwestern Louisiana over the next few days.

As well, Tropical Storm Lorena formed off Mexico's Pacific Coast, and forecasters predicted heavy rains and flooding by Thursday, likely without it reaching hurricane force.

Australian Associated Press