Hurricane Tammy continues to strengthen far from from land

Far away from the U.S. mainland, Hurricane Tammy still is expected to affect Atlantic regions with large ocean swells. Image courtesy of NOAA

Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Hurricane Tammy strengthened into a Category 2 storm over the Atlantic Ocean early Wednesday, according to forecasters who expect the system to become a "powerful extratropical cyclone" by Thursday.

A turn toward the north still is expected later Wednesday, National Hurricane Center forecasters said, adding that a more northwestwardly track of the storm could be seen by late Thursday or early Friday.

In its 5 a.m. AST Wednesday advisory, the National Hurricane Center located the storm about 540 miles south-southeast of Bermuda, moving northeast at 10 mph. The system has maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, which makes it a Category 2 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

"Some additional strengthening is possible over the next 12 hours or so," the center said. "Tammy is expected to undergo an extratropical transition, with this transition forecast to be complete within 24 hours."

As the storm continues to remain far away from the U.S. mainland, forecasters say one of its biggest threats for the next few days will be its ocean swells, which will continue to affect parts of the Leeward Islands, as well as the British and U.S. Virgin Islands.