ST. PETERSBURG -- Tropical Storm Danny has been upgraded to a hurricane, the first in the Atlantic this season.
Hurricane Danny is the Atlantic Ocean, more than 1,000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. Maximum sustained winds are 75 mph. It is moving west-northwest at 12 mph.
Danny is an unusually small tropical cyclone and these tiny systems can weaken and strengthen rapidly if conditions are right. The diameter of the hurricane force winds is only 10 miles.
Danny's compact size makes it subject to significant fluctuations in strength, both up and down, and such fluctuations are notoriously difficult to forecast.
There is no change to the previous thinking in the forecast. Danny will have another few days of somewhat favorable conditions as it approaches the Leeward Islands Monday then unfavorable upper level winds should cause weakening as it approaches the area around Puerto Rico on Tuesday.
Some models weaken Danny to a tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean Sea as it encounters high shear and dry air.
A trough north of Bermuda is forecast by the global models to begin lifting out to the north, allowing the subtropical high to the north of Danny to build back westward, forcing Danny on a more westward track on days 4 and 5.
If Danny makes it into the Caribbean as a hurricane, it will be the first hurricane in the Caribbean since 2012 (Ernesto and Sandy).