Tropical Storm Danielle strengthened into a hurricane Friday morning to become the first hurricane of the season, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Models from the hurricane center show Danielle is not a threat to Florida or the United States.
Danielle had sustained winds of 75 mph, with higher gusts, according to an update from the hurricane center posted about 5 p.m. Friday. The system is virtually stationary, forecasters said.
Spectrum Bay News 9 tweeted Friday that Danielle is not near any land.
Danielle became a tropical storm Thursday — the first named Atlantic storm in weeks — and quickly intensified to become the first hurricane of the season on Friday. Danielle is the latest first hurricane to form in a season since Humberto developed on Sept. 11, 2013, according to Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at the Colorado State University.
That season turned out to be remarkably below average for tropical activity, with only two storms reaching hurricane strength and none becoming major hurricanes.
Klotzbach called this year’s stretch without a hurricane “remarkably long,” in a tweet Friday. It’s especially remarkable, he said, because 2022 is a La Niña year and the waters are warm.
Danielle is only the fourth named storm of 2022. However, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration announced in early August it still is expecting an above-normal hurricane season, with 14 to 20 named storms this year.
Late August and September are when 90% of tropical activity occurs, according to the agency.
In addition to Danielle, meteorologists are watching one other tropical system, located east of the Leeward Islands.
In the 8 p.m. update Friday, forecasters said data from a Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicated that a system currently a few hundred miles east of the Leeward Islands could become a tropical depression as early as Friday night. The plane also reported the system has become more defined, according to the update.
The tropical disturbance has an 80% chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next two days, and an 80% chance in the next five, forecasters said.
A system located north of the Cabo Verde Islands is no longer an active system being watched by forecasters.
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2022 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide
IT'S STORM SEASON: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.
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