A report made by a Hurricane Hunter aircraft has been confirmed saying that Danny is now a category 3 hurricane.
As category 3, Hurricane Danny has strengthened to 115 mph winds as it makes its way toward the Caribbean.
On Friday afternoon, Danny was roughly 900 miles east of Leeward Islands. The storm is moving at about 10 mph and on a northwest route. It is possible that the hurricane will cross over the islands at the beginning of next week.
Despite the fact that Danny is now considered a major hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, it is also very small in size.
Hurricane Danny’s winds are only extending about 60 miles from the center. So, although the winds have strengthened, the hurricane will cover much less ground than a hurricane such as Bill from 2009.
(Compared below is Hurricane Danny and Hurricane Bill)
Forecasts insist that Hurricane Danny will peak in intensity between Friday and Saturday. That means that Danny might not even be considered a hurricane anymore when it hits the Caribbean early in the week. It may weaken enough to return to being labeled a tropical storm.
Some reports even explain the possibility that Danny could dissipate before the end of next week.
There’s also the possibility that wind shear in the area could tear the hurricane apart, maybe even right after it reaches the islands.
The Washington Post explained exactly what effect wind shear could have on Hurricane Danny.
“Put simply, wind shear is how the winds change as you go up in the atmosphere. Even moderate wind shear is destructive to tropical cyclones, and strong wind shear can completely destroy even a strong storm. The subtropical jet stream, where wind shear is very high, is positioned over the Caribbean and up through the Windward Islands. Forecast models suggest that it won’t budge or weaken much in the coming days. This could very easily be what rips Danny apart.”
Danny isn’t the only storm currently making its way north.
In the Pacific, Tropical Storm Kilo is making its way toward Hawaii. Forecasts explain that the tropical storm may become a category 2 hurricane before it reaches the western islands.
The storm was only officially named on Friday by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. That means it may not strike the islands of Hawaii until the middle of next week, if it hits them at all.