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Tropical Storm Danny May Become A Hurricane Later This Week -Potential Threat To Lesser Antilles Next Week

Tropical Storm Danny May Become A Hurricane Later This Week -Potential Threat To Lesser Antilles Next Week
(Media credit: The Weather Channel)
  • Tropical Storm Danny was located about 1,270 miles east of the Windward Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean as of 11 p.m. EDT Wednesday.
  • Maximum sustained winds remained at 50 mph with higher gusts.
  • The tropical storm is forecast to gradually strengthen as it moves west-northwest over the next several days. Danny is forecast to become a hurricane later this week.
  • It will be until early next week before Danny reaches the longitude of the Lesser Antilles.

ATLANTA, GA, U.S.A. (TWCC | 11:00PM EDT) -- Tropical Storm Danny continues to spin and hold its own, well to the west of the Lesser Antilles in the central Atlantic Ocean.

Danny took a wobble to the north during the second half of Wednesday, but a general west-northwest heading continues. Numerical data Wednesday evening indicated that the tropical storm has a fairly well-defined inner core. Likewise, satellite imagery showed some renewed convection firing near the center of circulation. This may be a sign of a modest strengthening trend on Friday.

The lack of organized thunderstorm activity earlier Wednesday may be due to some dry air being ingested by Danny, as noted by hurricane specialist Dr. Greg Postel of The Weather Channel. Dry air hampers tropical cyclones by encouraging the development of stronger thunderstorm downdrafts, which then either squelch nearby thunderstorms from forming or push them away.

This dry air is also stable, meaning it suppresses upward vertical columns of air needed to maintain or form new thunderstorms.

This will be a continual challenge to Danny over the next several days, as water vapor imagery indicates an ample reservoir of dry air north of Danny extending westward into the eastern Caribbean Sea.

Wind shear, namely, the change in wind speed with height either in speed and/or direction, can blow convection away from the center from a tropical cyclone. If strong enough, this can rip apart existing tropical cyclones.

Despite what had been a rather hostile atmosphere featuring record mid-July through mid-August Caribbean wind shear, Danny sits far south to remain in an environment of rather light wind shear.

So, assuming the atmosphere immediately surrounding Danny remains somewhat moist, Danny is forecast to strengthen to the first hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season possibly as soon as Thursday night or Friday.

The movement of this system will be to the west-northwest the next few days. Computer model forecast guidance shows that it may not reach the longitude near the eastern Caribbean Sea (about 60 degrees West longitude) until early next week.

As a result, we have plenty of time to monitor its progress.

Given the aforementioned dry air and wind shear in place over the eastern Caribbean Sea, it's possible that this system eventually weakens once it reaches the vicinity of the Lesser Antilles.

In summary, it's far too early to know if this system will bring any significant impacts to those islands in the long-term future. Interests in the Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico should monitor the progress of Danny.

Track Danny in Real-Time With Our New Interactive Storm Tracker.

Senior meteorologists Nick Wiltgen and Jonathan Erdman and meteorologist Chris Dolce contributed to this report.