It took a while, but the first Atlantic hurricane of the year has arrived. A relatively compact Danny strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane on Thursday morning, still more than 1,000 miles east of the eastern Caribbean islands.
Plenty could change in the next few days, but it looked Thursday as if the storm could reach the Leeward Islands such as Guadeloupe and St. Kitts and Nevis as a Category 1 hurricane by Monday.
Danny was small for a hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said, with hurricane-force winds extending only 10 miles from center. Its maximum sustained winds were 75 mph, just above the hurricane threshold.
The hurricane center cautioned that Danny’s small size make forecasting its strength especially difficult.
“Danny’s compact size makes it subject to significant fluctuations in strength, both up and down, and such fluctuations are notoriously difficult to forecast,” the center said in a forecast discussion posted online.