Danielle Becomes First Hurricane of 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season; Invest 91L Showing Signs of Organization

Tropical Storm Danielle, the 4th named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, formed in the North Atlantic about 960 miles west of the Azores yesterday morning and has since intensified into a hurricane.

As of the 9 PM GMT (4 PM CDT) advisory, Danielle was located at 37.9 degrees north and 43.5 degrees west with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

Danielle will continue to have generally favorable environmental conditions to work with through the weekend. The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center has Danielle strengthening slightly more over the next 72 hours.

Danielle does not pose a threat to any land areas and should begin to weaken by Monday due to a combination of cooler sea surface temperatures and increasing wind shear.

The formation of Danielle comes after going the entire month of August without a named storm in the Atlantic basin for the first time since 1997. On average, the 4th named storm of the season forms by/on August 15 and the first hurricane by/on August 11.

Meanwhile, in the far eastern Atlantic Invest 91L has yet to overcome only marginally favorable environmental conditions and develop into a tropical cyclone. However, an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft that investigated Invest 91L this afternoon/evening did find a more defined circulation compared to previous missions.

Latest five-day graphical tropical weather outlook from the National Hurricane Center. (NHC/NWS/NOAA)

In their 8 PM EDT tropical weather outlook, the National Hurricane Center increased both the 5 day and 2 day development chance to 80 percent and stated that a tropical depression could form as early as later tonight.

Invest 91L should track just to the North of Puerto Rico, northern Leeward Islands, and  Virgin Islands, but some impacts will still be likely this weekend.

What exactly happens with 91L is uncertain. Currently there seem to be two different scenarios that could play out. The first is that Invest 91L becomes a strong TC early next week and recurves into the Atlantic, well east of North America, as it feels the influence of a trough. The second is that Invest 91L remains weak, possibly becoming a tropical depression or storm, and meanders slowly to the west or west-northwest toward the Bahamas early next week.

The first scenario is supported by the GFS, CMC, and some of the GFS and ECMWF ensemble members. The second scenario is supported by the ECMWF, UKMET, as well as some GFS and ECMWF ensemble members.

Even if 91L does make it as far west as the Bahamas, the synoptic (large scale) pattern next week is likely to still favor an eventual recurve to the east of North America. Nonetheless, it will be worth keeping an eye on the progress of Invest 91L over the coming days.

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Caleb Carmichael
Caleb Carmichael

Caleb is the owner of Gulf Coast Storm Center. He is currently an undergraduate student at Mississippi State University majoring in geoscience with a concentration in broadcast and operational meteorology. While not yet a meteorologist, Caleb has been providing weather updates, news, and analysis for the Gulf Coast since 2014.

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