Sep 2, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Danielle becomes first Atlantic hurricane of the season

A satellite image of Hurricane Danielle.
Hurricane Danielle. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

Tropical Storm Danielle strengthened into the season's first hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday morning but does not currently threaten any land, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Why it matters: The Atlantic hurricane season has so far been unusually quiet, though the federal government and other experts still predict the season will be above average in terms of the number of storms.

  • "This is the latest calendar year 1st Atlantic hurricane since 2013 (Humberto on 11 September)," Philip Klotzbach, a researcher at Colorado State University, tweeted Friday.
  • August 2022 was the first in 25 years to go without a hurricane forming in the Atlantic, according to Klotzbach.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast in August that this season will still be more active than usual but not quite as severe as initially predicted in the spring.

Driving the news: The National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Danielle was "moving toward the west near 1 mph" around 11 a.m. ET on Friday and had maximum sustained winds near 75 mph.

  • "The hurricane is forecast to meander over the open Atlantic during the next couple of days, then slowly turn toward the northeast early next week," the center said.

Thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: Hurricane Danielle formed unusually far north for a September hurricane, influenced by unusually mild ocean waters in that region.

  • Atmospheric conditions are also more favorable there, whereas in the typical hurricane development areas to the south, dry air keeps starving fledgling storms of needed moisture.

Go deeper: Ocean heat reached all-time high in 2021, report finds

Go deeper