Humberto strengthening, could become major hurricane

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The latest advisory on Hurricane Humberto shows the storm is continuing to slowly strengthen as it churns off the U.S. east coast.

An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft flew into Humberto Monday morning and indicated maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph with gusts reaching 105 mph.

They also found that hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles. The minimum central pressure measured by the aircraft dropped to 978 mb, signifying the storm is strengthening.

The center of Hurricane Humberto was located about 300 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida (710 miles west of Bermuda) and the associated outer bands are expected to produce an additional 1 to 2 inches of rainfall in the central Bahamas, with isolated storm total rainfall amounts of 6 inches.

Humberto is moving toward the east-northeast at 7 mph and this movement is expected through early Thursday, along with a gradual increase in forward speed.

Outer bands associated with Humberto are expected to produce an additional 1 to 2 inches of rainfall in the central Bahamas, with isolated storm total rainfall amounts of 6 inches.

On the forecast track, strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours, and Humberto could become a major hurricane by Tuesday night. The center of Humberto is expected to approach Bermuda Wednesday night, with periods of heavy rain beginning early Thursday.

This storm will not impact the U.S., but swells generated by Humberto will affect the northwestern Bahamas and the southeastern coast of the United States from east-central Florida to North Carolina during the next few days. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, which is why most of the southeast U.S. coast is under High Surf and Small Craft Advisories.

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