AL.com: By Leigh Morgan – Tropical Storm Earl is no threat to the United States, but Bermuda may not be so lucky.
Earl, which was well north of Puerto Rico on Monday, has strengthened and could become a hurricane soon, according to the National Hurricane Center, and Bermuda is now included in the so-called “cone of uncertainty”.
The hurricane center on Monday was also continuing to track Hurricane Danielle, the first Atlantic hurricane of 2022, which was in the northern Atlantic and no threat to land. There is also another tropical wave in the eastern Atlantic that could become a tropical depression later this week as it tracks westward.
TROPICAL STORM EARL
Earl will be the storm to watch this week because of its potential impact to Bermuda. Earl has strengthened and had 65 mph winds Monday. Hurricane-force winds begin at 74 mph.
As of 10am CDT Monday, Tropical Storm Earl was located about 745 miles south of Bermuda, or 215 miles north of St Thomas, and was tracking north-northwest at 5 mph.
There were no watches or warnings in effect for Earl, but the hurricane center warned those in the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Bermuda to keep an eye on Earl.
Earl could continue to bring heavy rain and gusty winds to the islands over the next few days.
Earl is expected to continue to strengthen and could become the Atlantic’s second hurricane of 2022 later this week, the hurricane center said. The hurricane center’s intensity forecast suggests Earl could peak with winds as high as 120 mph (Category 3) in about five days.
That’s after Earl makes its closest approach to Bermuda, which is expected on Friday.
The hurricane center’s official forecast track doesn’t show the center of the storm making a direct hit on Bermuda, but it is included on the west side of the forecast cone, which means the island isn’t out of the woods by any means. Forecasters also stressed that there was a good deal of uncertainty in the long-range track.
“Currently Earl is forecast to track to the southeast of Bermuda. However, the wind field of the tropical cyclone is expected to increase significantly, and interests on the island should continue to monitor the progress of the storm closely,” the hurricane center said Monday.
Earl could still bring more rain to the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, forecasters said. An additional 1 to 4 inches, with isolated storm totals of 8 inches will be possible in the islands through Monday.
Hurricane Danielle started to pick up speed and head northeast in the northern Atlantic on Monday, forecasters said, after meandering in that general area for days.
As of 10am CDT Monday, Danielle was located about 915 miles west-northwest of the Azores and was moving north-northeast at 8 mph.
Danielle had 85 mph winds, making it a Category 1 hurricane. Slow weakening is expected over the next few days as Danielle moves into cooler waters.
The storm is expected to stay on a northeast path that will keep it north of the Azores, according to the hurricane center.
There are no watches or warnings in effect for Danielle.
ELSEWHERE IN THE ATLANTIC
There was one other spot to watch in the Atlantic. The hurricane center said a tropical wave that was located southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic and could become a tropical depression by the end of the week