Hurricane Earl forecast to become 1st major storm of the season

Hurricane Earl is moving slowly, but is expected to strengthen throughout the week and will likely become the first major hurricane of the year.

In its 8 a.m. update on Wednesday, the NHC said that maximum sustained winds for Hurricane Earl have increased to about 85 mph and are expected to become a major hurricane with strong winds in excess of 120 mph by the end of this week. Expected – A major hurricane is classified as a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of more than 110 mph. Earlier, Earl strengthened into a hurricane Tuesday night.

At the present time, Earl has hurricane-force winds capable of reaching 40 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds reaching 125 miles from its center. The storm is located about 485 miles south of Bermuda, is moving toward the north at about 6 mph, and is on track to move to the southeast of Bermuda by Friday morning. The Bermuda Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the island.

Forecast models tell Earl to curve in the northeastern Atlantic away from the US. The hurricane is not expected to threaten Florida.

NHC is still monitoring three other targets in the tropics – none of which currently threaten the US

After briefly losing its hurricane status, Danielle became a hurricane again Saturday night and has maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. It is 690 miles from the Azores and is moving to the west-northwest at 14 mph. Hurricane-force winds 35 miles from Danielle’s center and tropical-storm-force winds up to 175 miles. Daniels is expected to fall to power by Thursday.

Danielle became the first hurricane of the season on Friday, more than three weeks later than the August 11 statistical average, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is the latest Atlantic season storm to form since 2013 when Hurricane Humberto formed on September 11.

Additionally, the NHC is keeping its eye on an area of ​​low pressure several hundred miles to the west of the Cabo Verde Islands, and gradual development is possible as the system generally moves west-northwestwards across the Atlantic. Moves at a speed of 15 to 20 mph. A tropical depression may form over the next few days as the Atlantic atmosphere remains ideal for hurricane development. However, towards the end of this week, the upper level winds are expected to become less favourable.

As of Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center had given it a 60% chance of developing over the next two to five days.

Finally, a tropical wave is expected to emerge over West Africa over the next day or two. Atlantic conditions appear ripe for a hurricane to mature, which has a 30% chance of doing so over the next five days.

The Atlantic basin is full of tropical activity, but for a large portion of the season, it remained calm, unlike the average season, according to NOAA records, which show that the seventh storm of the year usually emerges on or before September 3. The third storm of the year is noted on or before 7 September.

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In August, NOAA reiterated its precision forecast for an above-average hurricane season, calling for 14 to 21 named tropical storms. One experiences an average season 14. The majority of this activity is predicted to occur between mid-August and mid-October.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.

jpedersen@orlandosentinel.com

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