SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Danny has strengthened into the first hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
At 10am, the National Hurricane Center positioned Danny's coordinates at 12.5N, 44.8W. That's about 1,090 miles east of the Windward Islands. Maximum sustained winds were at 75mph.
"It's still very far away," WLOX 24/7 Chief Meteorologist Carrie Duncan said of Danny. "But, it's a good time to check your plan and make sure you have everything you need if a storm heads our way. This is the peak of hurricane season. This is what we expect. Even though it's been a slow year, we are always watching to make sure we keep all South Mississippians updated on the storm."
The storm is expected to intensify at a slower speed due to issues with a dry, Saharan air mass encountering the storm. When the storm makes it to the Lesser Antilles, we are watching several weather models to hint at what the storm will do next. Some models have the storm turn up the East Coast, avoiding shore. Other models show the storm move along the islands and end up either over Cuba or in the northern Caribbean Sea.
Both of these options still show good results for us here in South Mississippi. If the storm turns up the East Coast, it will obviously be the best result for here as it would keep the storm away, but if the storm moves into the Caribbean Sea, good wind shear and dry air will meet it, causing the storm to struggle and probably start to fall apart. At the slim chance the storm scoots into the Gulf of Mexico, it would still be at least another 10 days before the storm even arrives on the doorstep of the Gulf of Mexico.
Forecasters from the National Hurricane Center expect Danny to weaken back to a tropical storm as it enters into the Caribbean Sea. This is due to issues with dry air, some shear and the storm moving over the islands.
With the newest updates from the National Hurricane Center, our forecast is still on track, and we still believe the storm shouldn't be considered a threat yet for South Mississippi. We will continue to monitor the storm closely and keep you updated as more information becomes available.