Tropical storm “Danielle” forms in the Atlantic; ends two months of relative calm

Tropical storm “Danielle” formed this Thursday.

Photo: PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

After an unusually quiet start to the Atlantic hurricane season, the Tropical storm “Danielle” formed this Thursdaythe first named storm in nearly two months.

As of 11 a.m. ET, the storm was about 960 miles west of the Azores in the North Atlantic and was moving slowly eastward, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph but did not present an immediate threat to land.

Danielle is expected to “wander,” forecasters said, before strengthening into a hurricane in the next few days. It would be the first hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic season.

Forecasters were also watching for two other disturbances in the Atlantic: one that was several hundred miles east of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean and another near the Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa.

Forecasters expect the system in the Caribbean to strengthen into a tropical depression, which has maximum sustained winds of 38 mph or less, over the next five days. A tropical storm has winds of 39 to 73 mph, and hurricanes have winds of at least 74 mph.

Danielle’s formation comes after a relatively quiet start to the Atlantic hurricane season, with only three other named storms. Alex, which formed in early June, caused flooding in South Florida and killed at least three people in Cuba.

There were no named storms in the Atlantic during August, the first time since 1997. After Danielle, the next tropical storms will be named Earl and Fiona.

In early August, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued an updated forecast for the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season, calling for a higher-than-normal level of activity.

In it, they predicted that the season, which runs through November 30, could see 14 to 20 named storms, with six to 10 becoming hurricanes sustaining winds of at least 74 mph. Three to five of them could become what NOAA calls major hurricanes, Category 3 or stronger, with winds of at least 111 mph.

Last year, there were 21 named storms, after a record 30 in 2020. For the past two years, forecasters have exhausted the list of names used to identify storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, something that has only happened once again. , in 2005.

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