Graphic: National Hurricane Center. Small island, big storm: there can only be one winner.

Tropical storm Paulette, the 16th named storm in the Atlantic this year, has set its sights on Bermuda and could arrive there on Sunday night or early Monday with hurricane force winds.

Both Paulette and Rene each set records for the earliest “P” and “R” storms in any Atlantic hurricane season.

Paulette is expected to curl north early next week, then northeast over the Atlantic Ocean after that. How sharp that northward curl is and the timing of that turn is important, as it could bring the center of Paulette near Bermuda early next week, likely at hurricane strength.

Those in Bermuda should monitor the forecast closely.

Graphic: National Hurricane Center. Watch out Bermuda!

Historically Bermuda has been hit by hurricanes on average once ever twenty years, but those hurricanes have been significant in its history.

In the summer of 1543 thirty Portuguese sailors survived on Bermuda for about 60 days, during which time they construct a seaworthy craft from recovered timbers of their wrecked ship. Given the time of year, a tropical hurricane may well have been responsible for this incident.

These sailors are believed to have left behind hogs, which later became a feature of the island and were featured on the coinage.

Photo: coins.nd.edu. The Bermuda penny features a hog.

On July 28th, 1609 – A hurricane sets the stage for the British colonization of Bermuda when the Sea Venture, a ship full of colonists bound for Jamestown, Virginia, was caught in the storm and forced to steer aground.  Two new ships, the Deliverance and the Patience, were constructed, and nearly all of the Sea Venture’s original occupants set sail for Jamestown.

The rest founded the colony of Bermuda, which has remained British until this day.

The tale of the Sea Venture inspired William Shakespeare to write The Tempest, and the coat of arms of Bermuda features a prominent representation of the shipwreck.

In 1987 Hurricane Emily went right over the island causing huge damage and some residents were without electrical power for as much as 6 weeks. After this the Bermuda Electric Light Company (BELCO) buried all its power lines, which had previously been strung on poles through the trees, many of which were blown down.

In 2014 Bermuda was hit by a double whammy as hurricanes Fay and Gonzalo his it back-to-back, damaging the airport building and destroying numerous boats, and also damaging the causeway that links the main island to St. Georges and St. Davids islands.

Travelers may wish to reschedule flights on and around the potentially affected days. Bermudians should watch the weather carefully and prepare to hunker down.