Hurricane Nigel strengthens, gaining Category 2 status far from land out in the Atlantic

This Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Hurricane Nigel gathering strength in the Atlantic Ocean. (NOAA via AP)

MIAMI (AP) — Hurricane Nigel powered up to Category 2 storm status on Tuesday afternoon and could intensify further before it starts weakening in coming days far out over the Atlantic Ocean, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Nigel's top sustained winds rose to 100 mph (160 kph) by late Tuesday, up from 90 mph (145 kph) earlier in the day when it was a strong Category 1 hurricane.

The system was centered about 590 miles (955 kilometers) east of Bermuda and moving to the north-northwest at 14 mph (22 kph). The island territory might see swells from Nigel that could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, forecasters said.

No coastal watches or warnings were in effect as the storm remained far from land.

The Miami-based hurricane center said Nigel could strengthen some more early Wednesday but is expected to begin weakening on Thursday and Friday and become a still strong post-tropical cyclone sometime Friday.