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Tropical Storm Danielle on the verge of becoming the first hurricane of 2022

National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Danielle could be hours away from becoming the first hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.

Danielle continued to strengthen overnight in the open waters of the north Atlantic, according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of 5 a.m., Danielle had maximum sustained winds at 70 mph with higher gusts. It was located about 890 miles west of the Azores and nearly stationary, moving to the east at 3 p.m. — a rate and path it is expected to main through the weekend.

Forecasters say Danielle is expected to become a hurricane sometime on Friday, potentially growing to a Category 2 storm by Labor Day before weakening over the cooler Atlantic waters.

The hurricane center also continues to monitor two other systems — one east of the Lesser Antilles that has a 50% chance of development this weekend, and another off the coast of Africa. Neither pose an immediate threat the the U.S.

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Carl Lisciandrello is digital news editor of WUSF Public Media.