TROPICS: Tropical Storm Epsilon could be hurricane when it reaches Bermuda

VIDEO: Tropical Storm Epsilon could reach hurricane strength before approaching Bahamas

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The National Weather Center is watching Tropical Storm Epsilon, the 26th named storm of the season.

The storm formed Monday morning and is expected to be at or near hurricane strength when it approaches Bermuda late this week.

Live 5 Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh says the forecast tracks have the storm staying out to sea.

The only possible impact expected so far along the coast would be the risk of high surf.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, the center of Tropical Storm Epsilon was located near latitude 25.5 North, longitude 55.5 West. Epsilon is

nearly stationary. A slow northward motion is expected Monday night, followed by a northwestward or west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed through midweek.

On the forecast track, Epsilon is forecast to approach Bermuda on Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is expected during the next couple of days,

and Epsilon is forecast to be at or near hurricane strength on Wednesday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 275 miles, primarily to the north of the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 29.47 inches.

If another named storm forms this season, which ends on Nov. 30, it would use the next letter in the Greek alphabet, Zeta.

This is only the second hurricane season in which Greek letters had to be used after the normal list of names was exhausted.

The last time this many storms formed was during the 2005 hurricane season. That year, Tropical Storm Zeta formed on Dec. 30 and continued into January.

After Zeta, the next Greek letter would be Eta.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.