Danielle Cat. 4; Earl a hurricane by Sat.; Fiona next
Well, the forecasters called for a busy season in the Atlantic, and that's what they're grappling with today. The graphic below shows wind forecasts for both Danielle (uppermost blob in graphic below) and Earl (lower wind field).
Hurricane Danielle grew to Cat. 4 status overnight, and now packs winds up to 135 mph. The storm is now 480 miles southeast of Bermuda, moving toward the northwest at 12 mph. The forecast track takes Danielle north from here, to pass east of self-governing British overseas territory before turning away to the northeast. But large waves and dangerous surf are forecast for the island.
Some slight strengthening is expected, but Danielle will soon move into cooler waters, which will begin to sap its strength. Even so, forecasters are warning that strong waves and rip currents generated by the storm will reach the mid-Atlantic U.S. coast by this weekend. Be careful in the surf. Here's a bit of the forecast from the Outer Banks:
"NORTHEAST WINDS OF 15 TO 20 KNOTS AND INCREASING SWELLS FROM
DISTANT HURRICANE DANIELLE WILL LEAD TO SEAS BUILDING TO 6 FT SATURDAY
MORNING. THE SEAS WILL PEAK AT 7 TO 9 FEET LATER SUNDAY THEN
SLOWLY DROP BELOW 6 FEET BY MONDAY AFTERNOON."
Next on deck is Tropical Storm Earl. This storm is following Danielle, but on a course taking it a bit farther south and to the left, making it, potentially, a stronger candidate for a run up the East Coast.
Earl was centered this morning 1,300 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands, moving to the west at 17 mph. Top sustained winds were clocked at 45 mph. Earl is expected to reach hurricane force (74 mph) by Sunday, and eventually reaching "major" (Cat. 3) strength (111 mph or more).
For now, the storm is forecast to miss the Northern Leewards, but, forecasters warned ...
"A DEVIATION TO THE SOUTH OF THE CURRENT FORECAST TRACK COULD BRING
EARL INTO THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS. WITH THE WEEKEND
COMING...RESIDENTS IN THESE ISLANDS SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR THE
PROGRESS OF EARL."
Finally, forecasters are watching another tropical wave just off the coast of West Africa. It is given a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours. If so, it would get the name Fiona.