Tropical Storm Earl has formed 185 miles (295 kms) east of the Leeward Islands, becoming the fifth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. Earl has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65km/h) and is moving west-northwest at 14 miles mph (22 km/h) as of Friday night, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm is forecast to slow down as it moves near or just north of the Leeward Islands on Saturday and north of US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by Saturday night and Sunday.
Tropical storm force winds are expected to remain on the northern and eastern side of the circulation and remain offshore from these islands. However, “any southward shift of Earl’s center would increase the risk of tropical storm force winds in those areas,” the hurricane center warned late Friday.
Gusty squalls with embedded heavy rain could lead to limited flash flooding, particularly in urban locations and small streams for the areas affected, according to the hurricane center.
Meanwhile, Danielle — far from any Atlantic shoreline — did not show movement late Friday and is expected to remain largely stationary over the weekend, according to the hurricane center.
Maximum sustained winds near 75 mph are anticipated with higher gusts, with slight strengthening possible into a Category 2 hurricane over the next few days, the hurricane center said.
Danielle became the first hurricane of the Atlantic season and was the first named storm in the North Atlantic since July 3, the hurricane center said. The average date for the season’s first hurricane is August 11.
Last month was the first August in 25 years not to bring a single named storm in the Atlantic.