U.S. News Hurricane Earl to strengthen into 'major' storm in coming...

Hurricane Earl to strengthen into ‘major’ storm in coming days

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Earl gained hurricane strength late Tuesday as it made its way north across the Caribbean. Image courtesy of NOAA/NHC

Sept. 7 (BP) — Tropical Storm Earl strengthened into a hurricane Tuesday night, with forecasters predicting it to become a “major hurricane” over the next few days though it is not expected to make landfall anywhere on the U.S. East Coast.

Earl formed in the Caribbean over the weekend and became the fifth named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, following Alex, Bonnie, Colin and Danielle.

The National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. EDT update on Wednesday that the storm was located 490 miles south of Bermuda. It had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and was moving north at 6 mph.

A storm becomes a hurricane when sustained winds reach 74 mph.

“A turn toward the north-northeast and then northeast with an increase in forward speed is expected to begin Thursday and continue through early Saturday,” the NHC said in its update. “On the forecast track, the center of Earl is expected to pass to the southeast of Bermuda late Thursday.”

“Strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Earl is expected to become a major hurricane late Thursday or Thursday night.”

Danielle and Earl came after a highly unusual August, during which there were zero named tropical systems. While not unprecedented, it was the first time in 25 years that August came and went without a named tropical storm in the Atlantic basin.

The 2022 season has so far been substantially different than the hyperactive seasons in 2020 and 2021.

Accuweather meteorologists expect there will still be 16 named storms before the hurricane season ends on Nov. 30. They expect between six and eight will become hurricanes.

“Our thinking has not changed as far as 2022 still being an active season,” AccuWeather hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said last month. “Our biggest concern is for a high chance for high-impact hurricanes.”

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