Hurricane Earl 2022 is now Category 2 with winds of 100 mph

Hurricane Earl intensified into a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 100 mph Wednesday evening as it tracked north in the general direction of Bermuda, and a hurricane watch is in effect for the island .

The second hurricane of 2022 isn’t expected to hit Bermuda directly, but it will get close enough — and strong enough — to produce some of the effects.

There is no direct threat to Earl’s United States, but the storm will bring waves that could cause deadly rip currents along the East Coast.

And Earl may not be done getting stronger: National Hurricane Center forecasts show Earl could become a Category 4 hurricane before it passes through.

The hurricane center on Wednesday was also tracking Hurricane Danielle in the North Atlantic and two tropical waves with the potential to become tropical depressions. None are an immediate threat to the United States

HURRICANE EARL

Hurricane Earl could become a Category 4 hurricane this week.

Earl was the main concern on Wednesday. Earl became a hurricane on Tuesday night and upgraded to a Category 2 storm within 24 hours. It could become a major hurricane (Category 3+) soon.

Wednesday night’s forecast said “significant strengthening” was expected.

At 10:00 p.m. CDT Wednesday, Hurricane Earl was located 355 miles south of Bermuda and was tracking north at 9 mph.

Earl had winds of up to 100 mph. The hurricane center expects Earl to continue to strengthen and become a major (Category 3) hurricane on Thursday, around the time it will pass closest to Bermuda.

A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning were in effect for Bermuda on Wednesday. A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions will be possible in the watch area Thursday afternoon through Friday morning, according to the hurricane center.

Bermuda won’t take a direct hit from Earl, but will experience heavy rain, gusty winds and rough seas as the storm moves south and east.

Official intensity forecasts suggest Earl could peak with winds of 130 mph in about 2 days or so. This is a category 4 intensity.

The hurricane center said waves from Earl could reach Bermuda tonight and then the east coast of the United States. “These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip conditions throughout the weekend,” forecasters said.

HURRICANE DANIELLE

Track of Hurricane Danielle 10 p.m. Wednesday

Danielle is expected to weaken and soon become a post-tropical storm.

The first Atlantic hurricane of 2022 weakened Wednesday night in the North Atlantic and won’t be a tropical system for much longer.

Danielle is not a threatened land.

As of 10 p.m. CDT, Hurricane Danielle was located approximately 605 miles north-northwest of the Azores and was tracking northeast at 17 mph.

Danielle had winds of 75 mph, making it a Category 1 hurricane.

There were no watches or warnings in effect for Danielle, which is expected to weaken and lose its tropical characteristics on Thursday as it moves over cooler waters.

ELSEWHERE IN THE ATLANTIC

On Wednesday, the hurricane center was also tracking two tropical waves in the eastern Atlantic.

The nearest one could become a tropical depression by Friday, but then hit more adverse conditions in the central Atlantic. It was not an immediate threat to the land.

The second tropical surge was near the west coast of Africa on Wednesday, the hurricane center said. It is expected to move soon into the eastern Atlantic, then west-northwestward. It has a 30% chance of becoming a tropical depression within the next five days.

Atlantic hurricane season is in what is usually its busiest time. The climatological peak falls on September 10 and the last day of the season will be November 30.