UPDATE: Rapidly intensifying Epsilon now a category 3 hurricane
Epsilon has rapidly intensified into a major hurricane over the Central Atlantic.
A Tropical Storm Warning continues for Bermuda and according to the US National Hurricane Centre, Tropical storm conditions are expected there beginning this evening and continuing intermittently through late Thursday.
At 5pm AST, the centre of Hurricane Epsilon was located over the central Atlantic Ocean about 340 miles (545 km) east-southeast of Bermuda.
Hurricane Epsilon is moving toward the northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Thursday.
The hurricane is forecast to turn toward the north-northwest or north by Thursday night.
On the forecast track, the centre of Epsilon is forecast to make its closest approach to Bermuda Thursday afternoon or evening.
Data from a US Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts - a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 450 miles (720 km) mainly to the north of the centre.
Some small fluctuations in intensity are possible tonight. Gradual weakening is forecast to begin on Thursday and continue into the weekend.
Large swells generated by Epsilon are affecting Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the Leeward Islands, and are expected to reach portions of the east coast of the United States and Atlantic Canada during the next couple of days.
These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.