Right now, if you happen to be in the middle of the Atlantic, say 1,000 miles or so east of Puerto Rico, you should really be prepared for some serious anthropomorphized weather hell. If you're in Miami, or anywhere on land, for that matter, there's nothing much to worry about — at least yet.
As of 5 a.m. Danny, which was upgraded from a Tropical Storm to a Category 1 Hurricane early Thursday, was located at 13.7 degrees north and 47.4 west — still in the middle of the ocean, basically, but getting closer to the Caribbean and Florida. According to the National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center, the storm is moving to the west and north at 10 miles an hour, which would put him on track for some kind of landfall by the middle of next week.
As far as storms go, Danny is very small, with his strongest winds extending only 10 miles out from his center. "This is a tiny hurricane," the weather service said in its latest report. But he's also been getting stronger: Wind gusts have already been as high as 85 miles an hour.
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Still, tiny, mighty Danny may not have a whole lot more left in him. Although he's expected to actually get stronger today, the storm is then expected to get weaker on Saturday, because of a whole lot of Saharan sand hanging out in the atmosphere. The current projection calls for Danny to pass over Puerto Rico and Hispaniola on Tuesday and Wednesday next week as a downgraded tropical storm.
"One of the two main obstacles it faces is a huge zone of relatively dry, dusty air that extends across most of the Atlantic around 20°N latitude (see Figure 4). Any large-scale intrusion of this air into Danny’s circulation would tamp down the instability that fuels convection. Thus far, Danny has been able to generate and consolidate enough shower and thunderstorm activity to fight off injections of dry air—another benefit of its small size. As it slowly gains latitude, Danny will be at increasing risk of falling victim to this zone of dry air, provided it does not shift to the northeast in tandem with Danny’s northwestward motion."
In other words: Pay attention to Danny boy. But don't start singing any sad Irish songs just yet — it's still way too early to tell what Danny will do next.