Tropical Storm Alex was said to bring damaging winds and a few inches of rain to Bermuda on Monday, days after the South Florida weather system caused flooding and killed at least three people in Cuba.
A tropical storm warning was in effect for Bermuda early Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Alex, who became the first named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season early Sunday, had sustained winds of 65 miles per hour.
Alex moved quickly east-northeast at 28 mph and would pass near Bermuda later on Monday, then weaken, reaching an extratropical low by evening. Up to five centimeters of rain was expected on the island.
In anticipation of the storm, public schools in Bermuda were closed on Monday and government buildings would have a delayed opening, said Michael Weeks, Bermuda’s secretary of national security.
Public beaches on the island would also be closed for swimming, he said, adding that public transport — including buses and ferries — would be suspended for at least the morning.
The system that became Tropical Storm Alex formed in the Gulf of Mexico last week, in part from the remnants of Hurricane Agatha, a Pacific storm that swept into Mexico as a Category 2 storm with heavy rainfall and damaging winds. That storm killed at least nine people as it crossed Mexico into the Gulf.
The system, which has not yet reached tropical storm strength, soaked South Florida on Saturday, causing flash flooding. In Miami, motorists faced heavy rainfall and impassable streets, forcing several people to be rescued from the rising water.
By Sunday afternoon, it had strengthened into the first tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, and parts of south Florida had received more than a foot of rain, according to preliminary rain totals. from the National Weather Service in Miami† Hollywood, Florida, just south of Fort Lauderdale, had received nearly 6 inches of rain in 48 hours. Similar totals were recorded in Margate and Biscayne Park. The storm also disrupted air traffic through South Florida, where hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed on Saturday.
Parts of western Cuba were flooded by the storm, which was also responsible for at least three deaths, according to NBC News.
This is the first year since 2014 that no named storm has formed in the Atlantic before the official start of the season on June 1. Meteorologists expect an “above normal” Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30, with 14 to 21 named storms considered likely. Up to 10 of those are expected to reach hurricane strength.