Tropical Storm Danielle Strengthening Over Open Atlantic

Tropical Storm Danielle is continuing to gradually strengthen over the wide-open central Atlantic and could become the season`s second hurricane later today. Current forecasts call for this system to turn to the northwest and eventually the north, keeping it away from the U.S. and any other land.

As of 11 a.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Danielle was located near 15.1 N, 39.4 W. This places it about 1025 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands, or about 2,700 miles east-southeast of Miami. Winds have increased to near 65 mph, with a central pressure of 29.35 inches or 994 mb. It is picking up speed this morning, moving to the west-northwest at 16 mph.

WeatherBug Meteorologist Rachel Peterson has the latest on Danielle and Frank in this exclusive WeatherBug Tropical Outlook Video.

Warm water will allow Danielle to strengthen early this week, possibly reaching hurricane strength tonight and even a major hurricane later this week. It would be the second hurricane of the season following Alex in late June.

Danielle will continue on a northwest track early this week before veering off to the north toward the middle and latter half of the week. This will keep the storm out to sea and to the east of Bermuda, mainly impacting shipping interests.

Any westward shift in the track as opposed to a northerly turn could push it towards Bermuda or East Coast this weekend into early next week. The chances of this are slim.

Residents from the Caribbean to the Eastern Seaboard are urged to monitor this storm`s progress. With this season still expected to be a busy one, residents along the East and Gulf coasts are urged to make preparations, including finding the most efficient evacuation routes and putting together a hurricane preparation kit. Click here for more information about storm preparation.

The peak of the hurricane season continues through the end of September, during which the majority of tropical storms and hurricanes form.