Satellite view of Hurricane Danny Friday morning, showing the small geographic size of the storm.

Satellite view of Hurricane Danny Friday morning, showing the small geographic size of the storm.

Hurricane Danny is a small, but powerful major hurricane located 850 miles east of the Leeward Islands. As of 5 pm Friday evening, maximum sustained winds had increased to 115 mph and the Category 3 storm was moving WNW at 10 mph.  Based on satellite interpretations by National Hurricane Center meteorologists, hurricane force winds only extended 10 miles from a very small eye, and tropical storm force winds stretched 60 miles out from the center.


Approaching the Leeward Islands This Weekend

Confidence is reasonably high on Hurricane Danny's forecast path, with most forecast models suggesting it will continue on a west-northwest path toward the Leeward Islands this weekend.  A ridge of high pressure to its north is what is currently steering Danny on a more westward direction, but it is possible this ridge will weaken some and allow for a more northwest turn over time.  The difference in a west-northwest or purely northwest trajectory is significant as it relates to impacts to the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico.


Expected to Weaken Starting Saturday

As noted in previous updates, and evidenced by the recent strengthening, the compact nature of Hurricane Danny makes it susceptible to rapid and sometimes unpredictable fluctuations in strength.  This has made the intensity forecast for Danny particularly difficult in the coming days, especially as it likely encounters atmospheric conditions that are less favorable for tropical cyclone activity near the Caribbean Sea. The official forecast calls for Danny to potentially strengthen a bit more over the next 24 hours, then weaken to a tropical storm by Saturday on its approach to the Leeward Islands. The forecast for weakening is attributed to an increasing amount of wind shear that will make it difficult for the storm to stay in tact, along with the idea that dry air will be pulled into the system and disrupt persistent thunderstorm development.



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