Hurricane Danielle continues to strengthen while moving north

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Hurricane Danielle continues to strengthen while moving north

Danielle restrengthen into a hurricane Saturday as it moves north-northeast away from the U.S. coast on Sunday. Photo courtesy of NOAA

The silence of nearly two months of no organized tropical activity in the Atlantic Ocean was shattered on Thursday when Tropical Storm Danielle formed. Danielle quickly went on to grab another accolade: the first hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic season.

One day after becoming a tropical storm, the first in the basin since Colin in early July, Danielle strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane over the North Atlantic Ocean on Friday morning. While Danielle fell back to tropical storm status for much of the day Saturday, it has since strengthened back into a hurricane Saturday night.

AccuWeather forecasters expect Danielle to remain at hurricane strength through the first half of this week.

The storm wasn’t a threat to land as it was located 940 miles west-northwest of the Azores, an island chain located to the west of Portugal, according to a National Hurricane Center update at 9 a.m. GMT. Danielle had maximum sustained winds of 90 mph and was moving north-northeast at 8 mph. The NHC said hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds outward up to 115 miles. The storm becomes a hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph.

Danielle’s development occurred right after an unusually quiet August. In fact, it was the first time in 25 years that the Atlantic basin had zero named tropical systems in the month of August.

Hurricane Danielle continues to strengthen while moving north

This season has been dramatically different compared to the hyperactive 2020 and 2021 Atlantic seasons. The current season has fallen behind the pace of an average hurricane season. The first hurricane of an Atlantic season typically develops by Aug. 11, according to the 30-year average from 1991 to 2020 compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

AccuWeather forecasters said Danielle will remain a hurricane for several more days as it meanders over the open waters of the Atlantic and well away from land.

As the storm treks northeastward through the middle of next week, Danielle is likely to move into an area of lower water temperatures, which will likely cause it to lose wind intensity. However, that may be when the impacts begin.

“After transitioning into a tropical rainstorm, Danielle can bring some rain to western Europe late this week or next weekend. The extent and location of the rain will depend on the exact track of the storm,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Douty explained, noting that gusty winds could also accompany the storm. Such impacts in Europe are common from former hurricanes, but would be the first of this season.

Danielle is no longer alone in the Atlantic. Tropical Storm Earl formed northeast of the Caribbean late Friday night, and is on track to bring periods of rain and gusty winds to some of the islands, before making a sharp turn toward the northeast.

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