Danielle strengthens into a Category 1 hurricane, first of the 2022 season

Danielle upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane on Friday, becoming the first hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic season. Image courtesy National Hurricane Center

For the first time this year, a hurricane crosses the Atlantic Ocean.

A day after becoming a tropical storm, the first in the basin since Colin in early July, Danielle upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane over the North Atlantic Ocean on Friday morning.

The hurricane was not a threat to land because it was located 885 miles west of the Azores, a chain of islands west of Portugal, according to the National Hurricane Center. Danielle had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and was nearly stationary as she was moving at a speed of just 1 mph. The NHC said hurricane-force winds extended up to 15 miles from the storm’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 115 miles (185 km).

Danielle’s development came just after an unusually quiet August. In fact, it was the first time in 25 years that the Atlantic basin had no named tropical system in August.

This season has been drastically different from 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 on August 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 open Atlantic waters and well away from land.

As the storm tracks northeast through the middle of next week, Danielle is likely to move into an area of ​​lower water temperatures, which will likely cause her to lose the intensity of the storm. wind.

“There is a small chance that a dip in the jet stream will try to grab Danielle and pull her further north, towards the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador or Greenland for some time this week. If this happens it could delay, limit or prevent direct moisture from reaching the UK,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

In addition to Danielle, AccuWeather meteorologists monitor other tropical features in the Atlantic Basin.

An area of ​​low pressure east of the Windward Islands still has a strong chance of tropical development ahead of the weekend, although it is expected to pass north of the Lesser and Greater Antilles and later turn eastward of Bermuda, according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Adam Douty.

While this tropical wave has a strong chance of developing over the next five days, it has a few hurdles to overcome.

At the beginning of the week, the wind shear caused this area of ​​showers and thunderstorms to stretch from the southwest to the northeast. For the system to become better organized, showers and thunderstorms should be wrapped around a noticeable circulation center.

This feature is expected to approach the southeastern Bahamas by Tuesday or Wednesday next week, although it may turn north early to mid-next week before reaching or approaching the Bahamas. The timing of this turn will dictate impacts in the southern Bahamas.

Another area of ​​disturbed weather conditions was located a few hundred kilometers northwest of the Cape Verde Islands and was being monitored for development.

Further tropical waves are expected to push off the African coast during the first week of September and may attempt to become organized features.

The next named storms to form in the Atlantic will be named Earl and Fiona.

With the calendar now showing September, the peak of Atlantic hurricane season is even closer. On average, the peak of hurricane season is September 10. With warm ocean waters in much of the Atlantic, as well as the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, AccuWeather meteorologists will continue to monitor basin waters for signs of potential new development. .