The fourth tropical depression of the 2015 hurricane season became Tropical Storm Danny on Tuesday and likely will strengthen to the first hurricane of the Atlantic season by Thursday, forecasters said.
Danny was still about five days away from Barbados late Tuesday, still way too early to tell if the storm will affect Florida. But it should snap Floridians to attention, said Robert Garcia, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Ruskin.
"It's probably a week and a half away from being near us, but it's a good reminder to make sure you have your preparations in place," Garcia said.
Danny was swirling about 1,595 miles east of the Windward Islands on Tuesday evening with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. It was moving west at about 12 mph with tropical storm force winds extending up to 45 miles from its center.
The storm was expected to continue heading west Tuesday and turn to the west-northwest today, forecasters said. Conditions in the ocean and atmosphere are favorable for slow, steady strengthening, and by Thursday, Danny's winds will reach Category 1 hurricane speed of at least 74 mph, forecasters said.
Find our 2015 Hurricane Preparedness Guide at tbtim.es/hurricane.
Contact Tony Marrero at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8779. Follow @tmarrerotimes.