ACCUWEATHER/UPI: By Andrew Johnson-Levine – Tropical Storm Earl is expected to turn toward the north, avoiding a direct hit on Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean. Photo courtesy of NOAA
After an extremely quiet August in the Atlantic Ocean, there are now two named tropical systems churning in the basin.
On Friday night, Tropical Storm Earl spun to life east of the northern Leeward Islands. While the center of Earl may avoid crossing over land, outer portions of the system may impact several islands in the Caribbean and bring stormy conditions through early next week.
As of 11am EDT, Tropical Storm Earl was located 70 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands. The storm was moving to the west-northwest at a speed of 13 mph and had maximum sustained wind speeds of 40 mph. Tropical-storm-force winds extended 175 miles from Earl, mainly to the north and east of its center.
Earl joins Danielle, a tropical storm located well away from any landmasses in the north-central Atlantic.
The development of Danielle and Earl occurred following a highly unusual August, in which zero named tropical systems formed. While not unprecedented, this was the first such occurrence in 25 years. In any case, this season has been substantially different than the hyperactive 2020 and 2021 seasons.
AccuWeather forecasters say Earl will remain a tropical storm through the weekend and into next week, possibly gaining a bit of strength over that time. The storm is expected to track northwestward, with the center passing slightly north of several Caribbean islands. Like with many tropical systems, however, impacts can extend well away from a storm’s center, and this may be the case over the weekend in the Caribbean.
“Though the center of Earl will remain northeast of the Caribbean Islands, rain and wind will move westward from Guadeloupe through Puerto Rico into Sunday night,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alan Reppert said.
As is often the case along the edge of such tropical systems, heavy rain will be the primary threat. While this rain may come with brief breaks, torrential downpours can lead to excess runoff and localized flooding. Given the threat for localized flooding, Earl is a less than one on the AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes in the Caribbean.
Meanwhile, forecasters at the Bermuda Weather Station (BWS) continue to monitor TS Earl to the distant south of the island closely.
At last check, forecaster say its closest point of approach within the next three days is expected to be 670 miles to the south of Bermuda by Tuesday morning, moving west-northwest.
Danielle, the fourth tropical storm of the season was expected to remain stationary over the weekend, after reaching tropical storm level with maximum sustained winds of 70mph early this morning.
We are now in the peak season period of the 2022 hurricane season.
Top Feature Photo: Tropical Storm Earl is expected to turn toward the north, avoiding a direct hit on Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean – Photo courtesy of NOAA