The National Hurricane Center today upgraded Hurricane Danny to a Category 3 storm, with winds of 115 miles an hour — a major hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
At 5 p.m., the center of Danny was located about 860 miles east of the Windward Islands and the storm was moving to the west-northwest at 10 mph. This motion is expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the west and an increase in forward speed is expected on Saturday or Saturday night.
However, forecasters expect Danny to encounter a less conducive environment — drier air and more wind shear — and weakening is expected during the next 48 hours. The hurricane’s winds are forecast to be down to 75 mph by Sunday night and to tropical storm force by Tuesday when it will be near Puerto Rico.
The Hurricane Center said the storm remains a tiny hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles.
On Wednesday, the storm is expected to be over Hispaniola, and from there the track, and whether it might affect the United States, is unclear.
A NOAA aircraft conducted a research mission in and around Danny this afternoon, and an Air Force Reserve Unit reconnaissance aircraft will investigate Danny Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Hurricane Center continues to watch an area of disturbed weather near Bermuda. A low pressure system is forecast to form in the area in the next day or so, and conditions could support some tropical or sub-tropical development over the weekend as the low moves slowly north.