Earl, previously known as tropical depression 07, is now Tropical Storm Earl, and is cranking up through this ‘middle school’ phase of the cyclone life cycle so quickly that by the time you read this Earl might be a hurricane. Or in his case, a himicane.
This is the fifth tropical storm of the current season. Earl is expected to encounter few of the effects that tend to attenuate hurricanes, and global-warming cooked seas over the coming hours. The storm will likely reach hurricane status by Friday. By Monday the storm’s center will be north of the Antilles and veering to the north or northwest. The most likely track has Earl following in the footsteps of Danielle and heading more or less to Bermuda.
Speaking of Danielle, this hurricane has maximum sustained winds of about 85 mph (140 kph) with higher gusts, making it a category one storm. It is expected to strengthen and will likely be a category two storm by the weekend.