‘Tiny’ Hurricane Danny Expected to Weaken

Tiny Hurricane Danny strengthened on its path across the Atlantic and may reach the Leeward Islands sometime Monday.

With top winds of 105 miles (169 kilometers) per hour, Danny is now a Category 2 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, on a track that should take it through the island chain, which forms part of the eastern edge of the Caribbean Sea and includes St. Kitts and Montserrat, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in advisory.

“Interests in the Leeward Islands should monitor the progress of Danny,” said the advisory posted at 11 a.m. East Coast time.

Danny is the fourth named storm and first hurricane of the six-month Atlantic season, which ends on Nov. 30. The hurricane center in Miami describes it as “tiny” because its top winds extend outward only about 15 miles, just slightly more than the length of Manhattan.

“Hurricane hunter” reconnaissance aircraft will fly into Danny late Friday, the center said. The system is forecast to run into wind shear, which can tear it apart, and dry air that may rob it of strength in the next few days.

The current hurricane center track has it rapidly weakening over the island of Hispaniola, home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, on Wednesday.

Still, the storm has exceeded many forecasters’ expectations by gaining strength at all.

Michael Schlacter, a meteorologist with Weather 2000 in New York, said if Danny can wind its way through the larger islands of the Caribbean without being torn apart on their mountains, and gets a boost from other weather systems in the Atlantic, it could stick around a little while longer.

“First we have to see what it does in four days’ time,” he said. “Then there is the post-four-day forecast.”