Tropical Storm Earl is expected to become a hurricane: forecasters

Tropical Storm Earl is expected to become a hurricane: forecasters
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As Hurricane Danielle winds through the open Atlantic, Tropical Storm Earl is expected to pass the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Sunday before strengthening into a hurricane later this week, forecasters said.

As of 11 a.m. Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Earl was located about 85 miles north-northeast of St. Petersburg. Thomas is moving northwest at 3 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.

Earl’s tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 105 mph.

The Virgin Islands and parts of Puerto Rico can expect up to 6 inches of heavy rain and strong winds.

On Monday and Tuesday, Earl is forecast to move north of the islands and make a sharp turn to the north-northeast, away from the Caribbean Sea. Hurricane Earl is expected to form Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“Earl is expected to make a sharp and rapid turn, allowing the storm to pass well south and east of the island. Direct impacts are unlikely, but Earl could produce rough surf and rip currents that could affect the island this week,” said AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Alan Reppert.

After spending most of the day as a tropical storm, Danielle saw maximum sustained winds of 75 mph Saturday night.

As of 11 a.m. Sunday, Danielle was about 1,000 miles from land in the North Atlantic Ocean and moving west at 1 mph.

Forecasters say an area of ​​low pressure from a tropical wave off Africa could develop later this week, and gradual development is possible as the system moves generally west-northwest across the Atlantic.

As of early Sunday, the National Hurricane Center had given it a 20% chance of developing over the next five days.

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Hurricane Danielle had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph Sunday morning and is forecast to gradually strengthen through Monday.

Its hurricane-force winds extended 15 miles from the center, and tropical storm-force winds 125 miles. As of 11 a.m. Sunday, Danielle was about 995 miles west of the Azores as it drifted over the Atlantic Ocean.

Danielle and Earl are the first named storms to form in the Atlantic since Tropical Storm Colin formed off the coast of the Carolinas in early July. It comes after a quiet August with no storms, only 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 of 14 named storms a year.

The next named storm to form will be Fiona.

Forecasters say dry weather, Saharan dust and wind shear are among the reasons there haven’t been more storms this year.

Hurricane season ends in November. 30.

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