MIAMI, Florida, CMC – The latest tropical storm continued to strengthen as it churned across the Atlantic late Thursday while a hurricane took aim towards Bermuda, American weather forecasters.

At 1700 East Caribbean Time (2100 GMT), Tropical Storm Earl was located roughly midway across the Atlantic at latitude 15.2 north longitude 38.8 west or about 2610 kilometres (1620 miles) east of the northern Leewards, the NHC said.

The storm was moving toward the west near 30 kilometres per hour (18 mph) and was expected to shift towards the west-northwest during the next 48 hours, forecasters added.

The storm, with maximum sustained winds were near 75 km/h (45 mph), had become “a little better organised” and was expected to become a hurricane by early Saturday, the NHC said.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, forecasters warned that a strengthening Hurricane Danielle could strengthen into a major hurricane “by tonight or Friday” as it appeared to take a course away from the northeast Caribbean and towards Bermuda.

The hurricane’s centre was estimated to be at latitude 25.2 north longitude 57.0 west, or about 1000 km (620 miles) northeast of the northern Leewards, and about 1095 km (680 miles) southeast of Bermuda.

Danielle had strengthened into a Category Two cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale and was moving towards the northwest at 24 km/ (17 mph) but was expected to slow down, indicating the likelihood of further strengthening over the next two days, the NHC said. Satellite imagery indicated that Danielle had developed a well-defined eye.
Forecasters were also watching a tropical wave that emerged off the West African coast late on Thursday.
The wave was centered about 450 miles southeast of the southern Cape Verde islands.
Forecasters were predicting “a low chance” – 20 per cent – of this wave becoming a tropical cyclone over the next two days although it showed signs of organization and weather conditions favoured additional development as it move westward at 24 to 32 km/h (15-20 mph).