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Hurricane Earl threatens Bermuda, could bring ‘life-threatening surf’ to US East Coast

(Provided Photo/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

(CNN) — Hurricane Earl is on the brink of turning into a major hurricane, threatening Bermuda with ferocious winds Thursday evening.

“Hurricane conditions are possible on Bermuda this evening,” the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said Thursday afternoon.

Swells generated by Earl have been building near Bermuda and are expected later Thursday to reach the U.S. East Coast, forecasters said.

“These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions through the weekend,” the National Hurricane Center said.

As of 2 p.m. ET Thursday, Hurricane Earl was centered about 180 miles (290 kilometers) south of Bermuda, according to the center. The cyclone was headed north-northeast at 13 mph (20 kilometers per hour).

It hurled maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, which will likely intensify.

“Additional strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, and Earl could become a major hurricane later today,” the National Hurricane Center said.

A “major hurricane” is one that has maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph.