• New: The season’s fifth tropical storm has formed.
  • Where Earl could head and when: North of the Lesser Antilles through Sunday.
  • US Impacts: It’s unlikely this system will threaten the Southeast U.S.

Tropical Storm Earl has formed in the western tropical Atlantic just a day after Danielle broke a nearly two-month gap in tropical activity. Earl and Danielle will likely remain far from land.

Western Tropical Atlantic: Tropical Storm Earl

A swirl of low pressure several hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles has been producing clusters of showers and thunderstorms. Hurricane Hunters found a closed center and winds of 40 mph, thus the Hurricane Center upgraded the system to Earl late Friday evening.

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Despite nearing the heart of hurricane season, there are two roadblocks that are slowing the development of this system for now. One factor is dry air and the other is unfavorable upper-level winds.

Forecast models suggest this area could develop and head slowly west-northwest to an area near or north of the Lesser Antilles by Saturday. Some additional showers and thunderstorms are possible from Puerto Rico to Barbados into this weekend. Between 2-4 inches of rainfall are expected with isolated totals to 6 inches.

This system will likely then turn more northward into the western Atlantic with time through a weakness that develops in its high pressure steering wheel. Intensification is likely as it moves northward away from the Caribbean.

That should allow it to pass well off the Southeast U.S. coast, but we’ll be watching closely for any changes to that thinking. It’s possible high surf and rip currents generated by this system could reach the Southeast U.S. coast after Labor Day.

Northern Atlantic: Hurricane Danielle

Danielle has become the first Atlantic hurricane of 2022.

  • Where it could head and when: It will move slowly the next few days and will remain far from land.
  • Impacts: None to land

Danielle has become 2022’s first hurricane in the Atlantic Basin, but poses no land threat as it meanders in the North Atlantic the next several days.

D​anielle was upgraded to a hurricane Friday just under 900 miles west of the Azores, or a little more than halfway between southeast Newfoundland and the Azores in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Fortunately, Danielle is only a hazard to shipping routes. It is no threat to land as it meanders the next few days, then begins a slow crawl toward the northeast. Danielle could weaken itself as it upwells cooler water over the next day or two due to its slow motion.

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T​his is only the seventh year in the satellite era (since 1966) that the season’s first hurricane has waited until September. The last year that happened was 2013.

In both 2013 and 2002, the season’s first hurricane didn’t arrive until Sept. 11, the longest wait for any season in the satellite era.

This snaps a string of four straight years in which t​he first hurricane arrived in July. In 2021, that happened exactly two months earlier than this year, when Elsa briefly became a Cat. 1 hurricane on July 2.

One year ago, Larry became the 2021 season’s fifth hurricane in early September.

Feeding on extremely warm ocean water, D​anielle also became a hurricane unusually far north, according to Tomer Burg, an atmospheric science Ph.D. student at the University of Oklahoma.

On Thursday, D​anielle became the first Atlantic named storm since Colin on July 3, and followed a exceptionally rare August without any named storms in the basin, and the hurricane season’s quietest start in 34 years.

Check back with us at weather.com for updates, as forecasts can quickly change in these peak months of the hurricane season.

It’s a good time to make sure you have a plan in place in case of a hurricane. Information about hurricane preparedness can be found here.

More from weather.com:

12 Things You May Not Know About Your Hurricane Forecast

Latest Updated Hurricane Season Outlook

7 Things Florida Newcomers Should Know About Hurricane Season

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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