Hurricane Earl is expected to strengthen today and become the first major hurricane of the season, with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph by Friday night, forecasters said.
Earl is forecast to strengthen significantly, becoming a major hurricane — a Category 3 or higher — on Friday, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory.
Its winds could reach 130 mph Friday night, making it a Category 4 hurricane, and tidal waves from Earl could mean increased risks of rip currents along South Florida beaches this weekend.
As of 8 a.m. Thursday, Earl’s maximum sustained winds had increased to 105 mph, making it the first Category 2 hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic season.
As of 5 p.m., Earl had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, was located about 140 miles south of Bermuda, and was moving north-northeast at 16 mph. Earl’s hurricane-force winds extended 60 miles from its center, while tropical-storm-force winds extended 185 miles.
Earle’s impacts may extend to the western U.S. East Coast in the form of rough seas, storm surges and rip currents beginning Thursday night.
The National Weather Service in Miami said at a briefing Thursday morning that Atlantic coasts will face increased risk of rip currents as a result of Hurricane Earl’s storm surge over the weekend and into Monday. The report highlighted the West Palm Beach area as at risk for those days, along with the Fort Lauderdale area on Monday.
“Fortunately, Earl will pass more than 800 miles east of the North Carolina coast. However, a hurricane of Earl’s size and strength would send a storm surge more than 1,000 miles from the storm,” AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Michael Dahl said.
Bermuda is now under a hurricane watch and under a tropical storm warning as Earl approaches. 3 inches of rain is expected across Earl Island.
Bermuda could see tropical storm and hurricane conditions Thursday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said. Its center is expected to pass southeast of Bermuda on Thursday night.
“If Earle’s track moves further west than currently forecast, hurricane-force winds are possible in Bermuda this afternoon or tonight,” the center’s 2 p.m. update said.
“There will be some impact on the Bermuda Islands in the form of rough seas, rough waves, strong winds and some rain from Earle, but destructive winds and heavy rain are likely to move further east,” the Aquiweather chief said. – Aerial meteorologist Bernie Reino.
Earle is expected to continue to strengthen as he moves away from America.
By Saturday night, Earl is forecast to become a powerful post-tropical depression.
Meanwhile, a low pressure area near the mid-Atlantic Ocean could develop into a tropical depression on Thursday, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said.
As of 2 p.m. Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said it was 70% for the next two to five days. The satellite found that the system has a well-defined core with winds of 40 to 45 mph, but it has yet to develop into a tropical depression.
According to the center’s update, the system should develop slightly to become a short-lived tropical depression. After Friday, it will face higher levels of wind later this week, which is known to hinder storm development.
A second tropical wave is expected to emerge from Africa this week. It is given a 30% chance of developing in the next five days.
Hurricane Daniel is expected to weaken to a tropical storm early Thursday and further weaken to a post-tropical storm later in the day.
“After becoming a tropical storm, Daniel is expected to bring rain to Western Europe next week. The amount and location of rain will depend on the exact track of the storm,” said Accuweather Chief Meteorologist Adam Doughty.
Daniel and Earl were the first named storms to form in the Atlantic since early July, when Tropical Storm Colin formed off the coast of the Carolinas. It comes after a quiet August with no named storms, the third time since 1961.
The 2020 Hurricane season set a record with 30 named organizations, while the 2021 season is the third most active with 21 named organizations. An average year requires 14 named storms.
The next storm to form is Fiona.
Dry air, dust from the Sahara and wind shear are some of the reasons why there haven’t been many storms this year, forecasters say.
Hurricane season ends on November 30.