The first hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season has formed over the open Atlantic — 1,425 kilometers west of the Azores.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center on Friday upgraded Tropical Storm Danielle to hurricane strength after its maximum sustained winds reached 120 kph.
The Miami-based hurricane center said Hurricane Danielle is currently not a threat to any land areas and predicted it would meander in the Atlantic Ocean over the next few days before weakening and moving northeast.
The storm’s formation marks a late start to the Atlantic hurricane season.
The hurricane center reports that last month was the first August in 25 years without a named storm. And Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach told The Associated Press that this is the first time since 1941 that there has been no named storm from July 3 to the end of August.
Hurricane Danielle is only the fourth named storm of the season.
Weather researchers say the hurricane is also one of farthest north hurricanes to form in the Atlantic, fueled by warmer than average ocean waters.
Warm waters usually favor the development of hurricanes, but meteorologists say that dry, stable air in the Atlantic has helped to suppress the formation of storms.
Last month, even as it revised its seasonal forecast downward, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center said atmospheric and oceanic conditions favor an above-normal 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, with the peak months of September and October still ahead.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press.