Hurricane Gonzalo gained strength Thursday as it churned toward Bermuda, packing Category 4 might with sustained winds of 145 miles per hour. Bermuda issued a hurricane watch for Gonzalo, which is expected to pass "perilously close" to the island on Friday afternoon, according to The Weather Channel. It said a rip current threat and elevated surf will hit the East Coast of the U.S. on Thursday. The storm was about 485 miles southwest of the tiny Atlantic island as of 11 a.m. ET, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The Hurricane Center said Gonzalo is expected to be a "dangerous" hurricane when it near Bermuda, warning Thursday that "preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion today." Gonzalo, the seventh named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, formed as a tropical storm early Sunday afternoon and was upgraded to the season's sixth hurricane late Monday afternoon. It is the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Ophelia in 2011.
In the Pacific, Hawaii canceled all public schools for Friday on the Big Island and prepared to open shelters as it braces for the arrival of Tropical Storm Ana, which is expected to strengthen to a hurricane and could be felt as soon as Friday. Winds are projected to blow up to 70 mph.