While Hurricane Danielle meanders in the open Atlantic, Tropical Storm Earl is expected to pass the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Sunday before becoming a hurricane later this week, forecasters said.
As of the National Hurricane Center’s 11 a.m. advisory on Sunday, Tropical Storm Earl, was located about 85 miles north-northeast of St. Thomas, moving northwest at 3 mph with its maximum-sustained winds maintaining at 50 mph.
Earl’s tropical storm-force winds extended out up to 105 miles.
Parts of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico can expect heavy rainfall of up to 6 inches and gusty winds.
Earl is forecast to moves north away from the islands and make a sharp turn north-northeast, away from the Caribbean on Monday and Tuesday. Hurricane Earl is expected to form Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“Earl is expected to curve sharply and quickly, allowing the storm to pass well south and east of the island. Direct impacts are unlikely, however Earl may generate rough surf and rip currents which can impact the island through this week,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert.
After spending most of the day as a tropical storm, Hurricane Danielle saw its maximum sustained winds intensify back to 75 mph late Saturday night.
As of 11 a.m. Sunday, Danielle was almost 1,000 miles away from land in the northern Atlantic Ocean and inching west at 1 mph.
Forecasters say an area of low pressure could form later this week from a tropical wave near Africa, and gradual development is possible as this system moves generally west-northwestward in the Atlantic.
As of early Sunday, the National Hurricane Center had given it a 20% chance of developing over the next five days.
Breaking News Alerts
As it happens
Get updates on developing stories as they happen with our free breaking news email alerts.
Hurricane Danielle’s maximum sustained winds were at 80 mph Sunday morning, and some gradual strengthening is forecast through Monday.
Its hurricane-force winds extended 15 miles from its center, with tropical-storm-force winds extending 125 miles. As of 11 a.m. Sunday, Danielle was located about 995 miles west the Azores as it drifts over the Atlantic.
Danielle and Earl are the first named storms to form in the Atlantic since early July, when Tropical Storm Colin formed offshore of the Carolinas. This comes after a quiet August with no named storms, something that happened for only the third time since 1961.
The 2020 hurricane season set a record with 30 named systems, while 2021′s season was the third most active with 21 named systems. An average year calls for 14 named storms.
The next named storm to form will be Fiona.
Forecasters say dry air, Saharan dust and wind shear have been among the reasons there haven’t been more storms this year.
Hurricane season ends Nov. 30.