One time subtropical storm and former Tropical Storm Oscar strengthened into a hurricane southeast of Bermuda on Sunday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Oscar was located at latitude 25.7°N and longitude 55.5°W which put it about 725 miles (1165 km) southeast of Bermuda. Oscar was moving toward the west at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 989 mb.
A small eye formed at the center of former Tropical Storm Oscar and the National Hurricane Center upgraded Oscar to a hurricane. A thin ring of thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Several short bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hurricane Oscar. Storms near the core were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the hurricane.
The circulation around Hurricane Oscar is relatively small. Winds to hurricane force extend out only about 20 miles (30 km) from the center of circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 115 miles (185 km) from the center.
Hurricane Oscar will move through an environment favorable for intensification for another day or two. Oscar will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C. It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. Because of its relatively small circulation, Hurricane Oscar could intensify rapidly while it is in a favorable environment. Oscar will get stronger during the next 36 to 48 hours and some models are forecasting that it will become a major hurricane. An upper level trough moving off the East Coast of the U.S. will produce southwesterly winds which will cause the vertical wind shear to increase by Wednesday.
Hurricane Oscar will move around the western end of a ridge of high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean on Monday and Tuesday. The ridge will steer Oscar toward the west for another 12 to 24 hours. Hurricane Oscar will move more toward the north when it reaches the western end of the ridge. On its anticipated track Hurricane Oscar will pass east of Bermuda on Tuesday. The upper level trough will steer Oscar rapidly toward the northeast on Wednesday.