Earl is 2022′s first Category 2 Atlantic hurricane; another tropical depression could form today

Forecasters said Hurricane Earl is expected to strengthen into the first major storm of the season sometime today, with maximum winds of 130 mph by Friday night.

Earl is estimated to be quite strong, The National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory that it will become a major storm by Thursday or Thursday night, meaning a Category 3 or greater.

Its winds are expected to reach 130 mph through Friday night, which would make it a Category 4 hurricane.

As of 8 a.m. Thursday, Earl’s maximum sustained winds had risen to 105 mph, making it the first Category 2 hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic season.

Earl was located about 265 miles south of Bermuda, moving to the north at 10 mph. Earl’s hurricane-force winds extended up to 60 miles from its center, while tropical storm-force winds extended up to 160 miles.

Earl’s impact could extend as far west as the U.S. East Coast in the form of rough seas, swell and rip currents beginning late Thursday.

“Thankfully, Earl is passing 800 miles east of the coast of North Carolina. However, hurricanes of the size and strength of Earl can send swells more than 1,000 miles from the storm,” said Michael Doll, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather. he said.

Bermuda is now under a Hurricane Monitor as well as a Tropical Storm Warning as Earl closes. The National Hurricane Center said Bermuda could see tropical storm and hurricane status through Thursday afternoon and into Friday morning. Its center is expected to move to the southeast of Bermuda late Thursday night.

“There will be some impact on the islands of Bermuda in the form of sea formation, rough surf, strong winds and some rain from Earl, but potentially destructive winds and torrential rains are likely to move east,” the AccuWeather chief said. -Air meteorologist Bernie Reno.

Earl is expected to continue to move north before turning to the northeast on Friday, turning away from the US.

Meanwhile, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say an area of ​​low pressure off the west coast of Africa could turn into a tropical depression on Thursday, and a gradual development is possible as the system generally moves west-north in the Atlantic. – Moves to the west.

As of 8 a.m. Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said it had had 70% over the next two to five days.

If a tropical depression does form, it will be short-lived.

After Friday, this weekend will face upper-level winds, which are known to hinder storm development.

A second tropical wave is expected to emerge from Africa this week. It is given a 30% chance of developing over the next five days.

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Hurricane Danielle weakened to a tropical storm early Thursday, and is expected to weaken further into a tropical storm later in the day.

“After transitioning to a tropical storm, there is some chance that Daniels could bring rain to western Europe next week. The extent and location of the rain will depend on the exact track of the storm,” said Adam Doughty, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.

Daniels and Earl are the first named storms to form in the Atlantic since early July, when Tropical Storm Colin formed offshore of the Carolinas. It follows a quiet August that has no name, something that happened only for the third time since 1961.

The 2020 hurricane season set a record with 30 named systems, while the 2021 season was the third most active with 21 named systems. An average year requires 14 named storms.

The next hurricane to form will be Fiona.

Forecasters say there have been no more storms this year due to dry air, Saharan dust and gusts of wind.

Hurricane season ends on November 30.

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