Storm Center 7

Tracking the Tropics: Tropics starting to heat up as we reach peak hurricane season

As we move closer to peak hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin, the tropics are really beginning to heat up.

Danielle became the first hurricane of the year as it strengthened to a category 1 storm in the Northern Atlantic late last week. Since then, it has weakened to a tropical storm, as it traveled through cooler waters, then back to a hurricane. Danielle is expected to track northeast and weaken again, over the next few days.

Then there’s Tropical Storm Earl. Earl first formed into a tropical cluster of storms around Aug. 27 near the Leeward Islands. It then moved northwest, growing into a tropical storm on Friday Sept. 2, shortly after Danielle became a hurricane.

According to the NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, Earl is forecast to grow into a hurricane within the next 24 hours and perhaps to a major hurricane as it moves near the island of Bermuda by Friday morning. That would make it the first major hurricane of the season.

It’s not just the Atlantic, but also the Pacific Ocean, that hurricane specialists are keeping an eye on. Hurricane Kay, centered off the west coast of Mexico, is barreling toward the Baja California peninsula.

The latest forecast update from NOAA emphasizes the threat of flash flooding and the potential of mudslides to western Mexico and Baja California through Thursday night.