HAMILTON, Bermuda – Tropical Storm Jose spun over the open Atlantic just to the west of Bermuda on Sunday, buffeting the wealthy British territory with gusty winds and intermittent showers.
The 10th named storm of the season was passing about 60 miles west of Bermuda, causing some storm surge and scattering debris on roads in western parts of the isolated island chain. There were no immediate reports of any serious damage or injuries.
"It's currently at the closest point of approach," meteorologist Ken Smith of the Bermuda Weather Service said early Sunday afternoon. "The tropical storm-force winds are limited to our western marine area, they aren't actually reaching the island."
Intermittent showers mixed with sunshine in Bermuda, which lies about 580 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, already battered by Hurricane Irene. Many islanders headed to church in their Sunday best.
By Sunday afternoon, the nearest lightning activity was about 40 miles south-southwest of Bermuda, Smith said.
Jose, which formed early Sunday, could bring as much as 3 inches of rain to Bermuda, but projections currently show the center of the storm remaining offshore.
Jose was moving north at about 17 mph, and had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, said the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
U.S. meteorologist Jeff Masters, who writes a popular weather blog, said Tropical Storm Jose will not survive long due to strong upper-level wind shear from Irene, which was continuing its march up the East Coast on Sunday after weakening to a tropical storm from a once-powerful hurricane.
Smith said Jose was expected to weaken into a tropical depression on Monday and later dissipate.
Earlier this month, Tropical Storm Gert skirted past Bermuda, kicking up choppy seas along the island chain's coast but passing well east of the tiny British archipelago. It caused no serious damage.