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Tropical Storm Daniel Forms in East Pacific
The expected path Tropical Storm Daniel as of the morning of July 5, 2012.
Credit: NHC/NOAA

A tropical depression in the East Pacific strengthened in the early hours of this morning (July 5) to become Tropical Storm Daniel, the fifth named storm of the season for that ocean basin.

Daniel has maximum wind speeds of 45 mph (75 kph) and lies about 600 miles (970 kilometers) south of the tip of Baja California, according to the latest update from the U.S. National Hurricane Center. It is currently not a threat to land.

The storm could strengthen over the next two days, but it is moving in a west-northwest direction, which should keep it far out of sea and away from land.

Daniel follows the first three named storms of the East Pacific hurricane season, Aletta, Bud and Carlotta, which became the first hurricane of the 2012 East Pacific season and dumped substantial rain along the west coast of Mexico.

The Atlantic basin is currently quiet. It has seen four named storms as well so far this season. Tropical storms Alberto and Beryl formed before the official June 1 start of the hurricane season. Chris became the first hurricane of the season, while Tropical Storm Debby deluged Florida.

The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season is forecasted to be a normal one, with 15 named storms (tropical storms and hurricanes), with between or to eight hurricanes.

This story was provided by OurAmazingPlanet, a sister site to LiveScience.