TD 27 Strengthens to Tropical Storm Epsilon

Tropical Depression Twentyseven strengthened into Tropical Storm Epsilon formed southeast of Bermuda on Monday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Epsilon was located at latitude 25.6°N and longitude 55.3°W which put it about 735 miles (1185 km) southeast of Bermuda.  Epsilon was nearly stationary.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

Based on data from satellites the National Hurricane Center upgraded Tropical Depression Twentyseven to Tropical Storm Epsilon on Monday morning.  The distribution of thunderstorms around Tropical Storm Epsilon was asymmetrical.  Many of the thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the eastern half of Epsilon.  One of the rainbands was beginning to wrap around the northern side of the tropical storm. Bands in the western half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Storms near the center of circulation generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the east of the tropical storm

Tropical Storm Espilon will move through an environment that will be somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Epsilon will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It will be south of an upper level trough.  The trough will produce westerly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds are contributing to the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms and they will cause moderate vertical wind shear.  The shear will inhibit intensification but it will not be strong enough to keep Tropical Storm Espilon from strengthening.  The upper level trough will move northeast in a day or so and the wind shear will decrease.  Epsilon could intensify into a hurricane later this week.

Tropical Storm Epsilon will be in an area where the steering winds are weak during the next day or so.  After that time a ridge of high pressure will develop northeast of Epsilon.  The ridge will start to steer the tropical storm toward the northwest.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Epsilon could approach Bermuda by the end of the week.  Epsilon could be a hurricane when it approaches Bermuda.