Tropical Storm Danny is forecast to strengthen far out over the Atlantic and could become a hurricane.
The storm's maximum sustained winds early Wednesday are near 50 mph (85 kph). But the U.S. National Hurricane Center says additional strengthening is expected over the next two days and Danny could become a hurricane on Thursday - the first hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season.
The storm is centered about 1,445 miles (2,325 kilometers) east of the Lesser Antilles and is moving west near 14 mph (22 kph).
The storm does not currently pose a threat to any land.
As of 5 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center computer models indicate strengthening:
SHIPS model indicate that Danny will continue to be embedded withinan environment of very light shear, and only dry air appears to bethe unfavorable factor for strengthening. In fact, the SHIPS rapidintensification index RI continues to be high, but not as much asit was indicated in the previous run. Most of the models call forintensification during the next 3 to 4 days, but none is asaggressive as the LGEM model, which makes Danny and intensehurricane by the end of the forecast period. The official forecastis closer to the consensus, and calls for a more modeststrengthening with some slight decrease in intensity as Dannyapproaches the Lesser Antilles.
The center is difficult to locate on infrared images, and there aresome indications that Danny could be moving a little faster. Giventhe uncertainties of the location of storm, and assuming that thecenter is still under the convective canopy, the best estimate ofthe initial motion is toward the west, but still at 12 kt. Thepersistent subtropical ridge over the Atlantic will likely continueto steer Danny on a general west to west-northwest track during thenext five days. The guidance envelope shifted northward in the lastrun, but the ECMWF still favors a more westward track. The NHCforecast was shifted a little bit to the north, following themulti-model consensus, and lies between the GFS and the ECMWF.
Given the aforementioned dry air and wind shear in place over the eastern Caribbean Sea, it's possible that this system eventually weakens once it reaches the vicinity of the Lesser Antilles.
In summary, it's far too early to know if this system will bring any significant impacts to those islands in the long-term future. Interests in the Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico should monitor the progress of Danny.