Danny Gains Ferocity, Turns Into Category 3 Storm

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Washington: The first Atlantic hurricane of the year reached major status on Friday, strengthening to a Category 3 storm about 900 miles east of the eastern Caribbean islands, the National Hurricane Center said.

But forecasters call for a weakening Friday night as Hurricane Danny heads west and hits “unfavorable upper-level winds” for the next two days.

“Danny has likely peaked in intensity based on the signs of shear in the cloud pattern, stronger upper-level winds present west of the cyclone, and abundant nearby dry air,” the center said CNN’s forecast track shows Danny could reach the Leeward Islands such as Guadeloupe and Montserrat as only a tropical storm around Monday morning.

Danny had estimated maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kilometers per hour) Friday afternoon, the hurricane center said, citing measurements taken by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration aircraft.

Danny is relatively tiny, forecasters say, with hurricane-force winds extending only 15 miles (24 km) from its center on Friday.

Danny on Tuesday became the first named storm of the Atlantic season — unusually, if not unexpectedly, late.

Forecasters had already said this year’s season would produce.

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