Danielle unlikely to threaten U.S.
The sixth tropical depression of the Atlantic hurricane season became tropical storm Danielle late Sunday as the circulation developed a core of sustained winds near the surface greater than 39 mph. Located in the Central Atlantic about 2,800 miles east-southeast of Jacksonville, Fla. (as of midday Monday), Danielle is moving slightly north of due west at about 16 mph. Maximum sustained winds are now estimated at 65 mph.
Recent satellite images suggest that Danielle may well be on its way to becoming a hurricane. As seen in the adjacent image, very tall thunderstorms (shaded in red) are now tightly clustered near the low-level swirl (which is obscured in this image), and a pattern of cirrus clouds (white appearance) emanates outward from these thunderstorms in many directions.
The latest hurricane track models nearly unanimously keep Danielle well out to sea, moving the storm toward the west-northwest and northwest for the next several days before recurving it north and then northeast away from the U.S. East Coast.
Keep reading for more details on the potential fate of Danielle...
The reason for this consensus in the track guidance is because the global weather models are predicting that the upper-level area of low pressure currently over the eastern U.S. will be reinforced during the next several days by a system moving in from the Northern Plains.
As depicted to the right, this accumulation of counter-clockwise spin at high altitudes close to the Eastern Seaboard will very likely protect North America from a Danielle strike -- the strong upper-level winds from the southwest off the Atlantic coast, on the east side of the upper-level low, should deflect Danielle away from the U.S.
In the big picture, it appears now that the "Cape Verde" season has come alive. Thunderstorm clusters associated with tropical weather disturbances moving westward off of Africa (and closely by the Cape Verde Islands -- hence the name) are now showing an ability to remain intact as they trek across the Atlantic. This is something that usually doesn't happen early in the summer. Danielle is indeed one of these "Cape Verde" systems. During the next six weeks, we'll be keeping a close eye on the potential development of the Cape Verde-type in the far eastern Atlantic.
While these storms are more likely to encounter hostile weather patterns during their cross-oceanic trip than, say, ones that develop closer to home in the Caribbean of Gulf of Mexico, they are sometimes the strongest if they survive.
| August 23, 2010; 2:15 PM ET
Categories: Tropical Weather
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