Newly named Tropical Storm Earl is forming in the Atlantic, with the National Hurricane Center on Sunday recommending residents in the northern Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to monitor the storm’s progress.

In an 11 a.m. update, the hurricane’s center said Tropical Storm Earl meandered north of the Virgin Islands. Heavy rains and flooding are expected to affect the northern Leeward Islands, the US and British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

The storm was located about 75 miles north of St. Thomas is north and is moving west-northwest at a speed of about 8 mph, with a maximum wind speed of 50 mph.

“A northwestern turn with an additional decrease in forward speed is expected Sunday through Monday,” the NHC forecaster said. “On the forecast path, the center of the Earl is expected to pass north of the northern Leeward Islands today, and north of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight and Sunday.”

The forecast model calls for Earl to stay away from the US, and the storm is not expected to pose a threat to Florida.

“Slow strengthening is possible over the next few days,” the NHC said.

Hurricane Danielle lost some strength yesterday and returned to being a tropical storm, but the system became a hurricane again last night. It now has maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and is 1,000 miles away from land in the north Atlantic Ocean and is inching north at 1 mph.

Danielle became the first hurricane of the season on Friday, more than three weeks later than the August 11 statistical average, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is the latest Atlantic monsoon to form since 2013 when Hurricane Humberto formed on September 11.

Forecasters say a low-pressure area could form this weekend from tropical waves near Africa, and gradual development is possible as the system generally moves west-northwest in the Atlantic.

As of Sunday morning, the National Hurricane Center had given him a 20% chance to expand over the next five days.

The formation of Danielle and Earl catches up with the first three systems mentioned earlier in what is projected to be an above-average tropical season. Tropical Storm Colin last abated on July 3.

Typically, the fourth named hurricane of the year appears on or before August 15, according to NOAA. The season runs from June 1 to November. 30.

NOAA is still predicting an above-average year with 14 to 21 named storms in its early August forecast. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the traditional peak of hurricane season lasting from mid-August to mid-October.

The 2020 hurricane season set a record with 30 named systems, while the 2021 season was the third most active with 21 named systems. The average year calls for 14 named storms.

By Blanca

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