On September 6, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this true-color image of Hurricane Leslie as it spun over the Atlantic Ocean at 14:45 UTC (10:45 a.m. EDT). The eye of the storm, which had once been clear, had become covered with clouds – often the sign of a weakening storm. The next day, on September 7, Leslie had weakened to tropical storm strength.
Just 15 minutes after this image was captured, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued an advisory on the storm, which was then carrying maximum sustained winds of 65 knots (75 mph), making it a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. The center of the storm was located near 16.4 N 62.4 W, or 430 miles (695 km) south southeast of Bermuda. Leslie was a large tropical cyclone, with hurricane force winds extending outwards up to 25 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds out to 195 mile (315 km).
By the next morning, at 11 a.m. EDT, Leslie’s maximum sustained winds were near 70 mph (110 km/h), or just under hurricane strength, and the storm nearly stationary over the Atlantic Ocean. The NHC predicted no immediate change in strength, although Leslie could once again regain hurricane status over the weekend of September 8-9. At 5:00 p.m. EDT, the NCH reported that Leslie had finally begun to move, and was heading northward, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 km/h).
A tropical storm watch has been put into effect for Bermuda, with tropical storm force winds expected to reach Bermuda by early Sunday, September 9. Tropical Storm Leslie is creating strong surf and swells that will continue to affect Bermuda and much of the U.S. East Coast from central Florida northwards. Dangerous rip tides could occur in these areas.