Danny Gradually Weakens As Storm Approaches Caribbean
Hurricane Danny is continuing to weaken as it moves towards the north and west, however, substantial impacts are expected for Puerto Rico and the northern Leeward Islands as the storm approaches the region on Monday.
After maxing out as a Category 3 storm on Friday afternoon, Danny quickly weakened back to a Category 2 storm on Friday evening and early Saturday morning, with dry air at the middle and upper levels of the atmosphere working to weaken the Atlantic basin’s first hurricane of 2015. As of Saturday afternoon, the storm was down to 85 mile-per-hour (MPH) maximum sustained winds, making it a Category 1 storm.
Danny’s distinctive feature so far has been its relatively diminutive size, as the storm is approximately two standard deviations smaller than the average Atlantic hurricane.
The storm is expected to continue to weaken over the next few days as it keeps moving through drier air as well as higher wind shear, or changes in wind direction and speed with elevation. By Monday, the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) official forecast places Danny near the U.S. and U.K. Virgin Islands of the northern Leeward Islands, however, Danny is expected to have weakened to a Tropical Storm by then. The system is expected to continue to weaken as it approaches Puerto Rico and the island of Hispaniola, home to both the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Danny will likely bring substantial rainfall to Puerto Rico, which should mostly be good news for the drought-stricken island, however, much of the rain is expected to fall in a short amount of time, increasing the risk for flash flooding and landslides. San Juan, Puerto Rico is nearly 10 inches below its typical year-to-date rainfall, and significant water restrictions are in place across a wide swath of the U.S. Commonwealth.
Following its brush with the northern Leeward Island, Danny’s track is a bit more uncertain. The storm may move through the Bahamas, perhaps bringing it close to Florida and the U.S. Atlantic seaboard by Friday or Saturday, however, Danny’s intensity is much more of a question mark at that point, as it could weaken to nothing more than a remnant low by then.
Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on Danny and the tropics.
Meteorologist Chris Bianchi