Danny becomes first hurricane of 2015 Atlantic season

     Danny's five-day forecast track. (Image: National Hurricane Center)

    Danny's five-day forecast track. (Image: National Hurricane Center)

    Hurricane Danny, the first hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic tropical season, formed shortly before 11:00 a.m. today, according to the National Hurricane Center. 

    At 11:00 a.m., Danny is located in the open Atlantic Ocean about 1,090 miles east of the Windward Islands, packing maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour and higher gusts, according to a National Hurricane Center bulletin. 

    The hurricane is currently moving west-northwestward at 12 miles per hour, which the center’s forecasters expect to continue “for the next couple of days,” the bulletin states. 

    According to the latest National Hurricane Center forecast track, forecasters expect some additional strengthening as the system moves over an area with favorable conditions, with Danny remaining a hurricane until early Tuesday morning as it approaches the Puerto Rico area. 

    At that point, according to the forecast, Danny is expected to weaken back to a tropical storm.  

    That’s because the system is expected to hit disruptive wind shear, according to the National Hurricane Center, which also states that Danny’s compact size “makes it subject to significant fluctuations in strength, both up and down” and the dry mid-level air that surroundings the system “could penetrate into the core and disrupt the intensification process.”

    Although there is no immediate threat to any land mass, anyone traveling in the eastern Caribbean shortly should monitor all official forecasts. 

    The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is on Sept. 10, which is the day when historically the maximum amount of convection and minimal amount of shear are found in the Atlantic basin, leading to the best chance of tropical system development.

    The relatively quiet season is due to dry air blowing from Africa over the tropical zone and disruptive upper level winds, according to hurricane specialists. 

    With the season’s peak approaching, forecasters advise coastal residents to have a plan should a tropical system threaten or strike. 

    The 2015 hurricane season ends on Nov. 30.  

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