AL.com: ALABAMA, By Leigh Morgan – Hurricane Earl intensified into a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds on Wednesday night as it tracked northward in the general direction of Bermuda, and a hurricane watch is in effect for the island.

The second hurricane of 2022 isn’t expected to make a direct hit on Bermuda, but it will come close enough — and be strong enough — to bring some of the effects.

There’s no direct threat to the US from Earl, but the storm will churn up waves that could cause deadly rip currents along the East Coast.

And Earl may not be done strengthening: The National Hurricane Center’s forecast shows Earl possibly becoming a Category 4 hurricane before it’s through.

The hurricane center on Wednesday was also tracking Hurricane Danielle in the north Atlantic and two tropical waves that have the potential to become tropical depressions. None is an immediate threat to the U.S.

HURRICANE EARL

Hurricane Earl track 4 p.m.
Hurricane Earl could become a Category 4 hurricane this week.

Earl was the main concern on Wednesday. Earl became a hurricane late Tuesday and has strengthened into a Category 2 storm in 24 hours. It could become a major hurricane (Category 3 +) soon.

The Wednesday night forecast said “significant strengthening” was expected.

As of 10pm CDT Wednesday, Hurricane Earl was located 355 miles south of Bermuda and was tracking northward at 9 mph.

Earl had winds up to 100 mph. The hurricane center expects Earl to continue to strengthen and become a major hurricane (Category 3) on Thursday, right about the time it will be passing the closest to Bermuda.

Both a hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning were in effect for Bermuda on Wednesday. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions will be possible within the watch area Thursday afternoon into Friday morning, according to the hurricane center.

Bermuda won’t take a direct hit from Earl but will experience heavy rain, gusty winds and rough seas as the storm passes to the south and east.

The official intensity forecast suggests Earl could peak with 130 mph winds in about 2 days or so. That’s Category 4 intensity.

The hurricane center said waves from Earl could reach Bermuda tonight and then U.S. East Coast. “These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions through the weekend,” forecasters said.

HURRICANE DANIELLE

Hurricane Danielle track 10 p.m. Wednesday
Danielle is expected to weaken and become a post-tropical storm soon.

The Atlantic’s first hurricane of 2022 was weakening late Wednesday in the northern Atlantic and won’t be a tropical system much longer.

Danielle is no threat land.

As of 10pm CDT, Hurricane Danielle was located about 605 miles north-northwest of the Azores and was moving northeast at 17 mph.

Danielle had winds of 75 mph, making it a Category 1 hurricane.

There were no watches or warnings in effect for Danielle, which was expected to weaken and lose its tropical features on Thursday as it moves over colder water.

ELSEWHERE IN THE ATLANTIC

The hurricane center was also tracking two tropical waves in the eastern Atlantic on Wednesday.

The closest one could become a tropical depression by Friday but then would run into more unfavorable conditions in the central Atlantic. It was no immediate threat to land.

The second tropical wave was near the west coast of Africa on Wednesday, the hurricane center said. It’s expected to move into the eastern Atlantic soon and then to the west-northwest. It has a 30 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression over the next five days.

Top Feature Graphic: The climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is near, and there are four areas to watch in the tropics. The most concerning is Hurricane Earl, which could sideswipe Bermuda soon and could become a Category 4 hurricane. Forecasters were also tracking Hurricane Danielle, which is no threat to land, and two tropical waves in the eastern Atlantic. None of the storms is a direct threat to the US, but Earl could cause deadly rip currents along the US East Coast.