Danielle Becomes Second Hurricane of Atlantic Season

(Image credit: NASA)

Update, 6:13 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Aug. 25: Danielle has re-strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane. The storm is expected to travel to the east of Bermuda this weekend.

Update, 5:30 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Aug. 24: Danielle has weakened to a tropical storm again, with maximum winds near 70 mph (113 kph), but is expected to ramp back up to hurricane strength again tomorrow.

Update, 7:50 a.m. ET, Tuesday, Aug. 24: Hurricane Danielle has strengthened to a Category 2 storm, with maximum winds of 100 mph (160 kph).

Earlier on Monday, Tropical Storm Danielle ramped up to hurricane strength, becoming the second hurricane of the Atlantic storm season.

Now Hurricane Danielle formed as a tropical depression over the Atlantic Ocean on Aug. 22 and had strengthened to a tropical storm by the following day.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of Danielle on Aug. 23. In the image, Danielle boasts the apostrophe shape typical of tropical storms, although it lacks a distinct eye.

Danielle is currently located about 850 miles (1,400 km) west of the southernmost Cape Verde islands and its winds are reaching as high as 75 mph (120 kph), which marks it as a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale. The strongest storm on the scale is a Category 5.

Hurricane forecasters are calling for Danielle to strengthen over the next day or two, but isn't expected to threaten land.

Though the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season has been relatively quiet to date -- the only other hurricane was Hurricane Alex -- forecasters still expect it to be an active season, with 14 to 20 named storms, eight to 12 of which are expected to become hurricanes.

The peak of hurricane season lasts from late August through early October, when ocean waters are at their warmest. The entire Atlantic season lasts from June 1 to November 30.

Live Science Staff
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