Tropical storm Danny has been officially elevated to hurricane status, making it the first Atlantic hurricane of the 2015 season. Danny could pose a potential threat to the Lesser Antilles sometime next week.
On Thursday morning, Danny intensified into a hurricane. The storm is located to the east of the Lesser Antilles in the central Atlantic Ocean.
An advisory from the National Hurricane Center says that Danny’s hurricane-force winds reached only up to 10 miles from the center of circulation. As of this morning, it is a tiny hurricane-force wind field, however, small circulations such as Danny are prone to sudden changes and are often difficult to forecast.
Hurricane Danny will face climate challenges of dry air, which hampers tropical cyclones by encouraging the development of stronger thunderstorm downdrafts, often squelching nearby storms or pushing them away altogether. The air around Danny is also stable, suppressing the upward vertical columns needed to form new thunderstorms.
Over the next few days, Danny will remain far south, gradually moving west-northwest. Due to the dry air and wind shear over the eastern Caribbean Sea, it’s possible that Danny will weaken once it reaches the area of the Lesser Antilles, but could still produce minimal hurricane strength winds upon arrival. While too early to determined possible impacts, areas around the Lesser Antilles, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are advised to monitor the system.