Hurricane Danielle advances towards Spain, but may weaken

by Lorraine Williamson
Hurricane Danielle

Until now it has been a tropical storm. However, Danielle has strengthened in the waters of the North Atlantic and we can now speak of a hurricane. This makes Danielle the first hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. 

According to the Spanish website Eltiempo.com, this cyclone has developed in an unusual area of the Atlantic. Furthermore, it has a level of development not often seen in latitudes so far from the tropics. 

Danielle is moving very slowly eastwards, and it is possible that it will reach Spain next week, according to meteorologists’ forecasts. However, experts are still cautious about how the hurricane might affect the peninsula. They are keeping a close eye on the development. As Rubén Del Campo, spokesman for the National Meteorological Agency (Aemet), explained to 20minutos, although Danielle is moving east, ‘that does not mean it will reach Spain’.  

What is the likelihood of Spain being affected? 

The most likely development is that Hurricane Danielle will pass north of the Azores and be absorbed near the UK. However, other hypotheses, such as her approaching the Iberian Peninsula, have not been completely ruled out either. At the moment, Danielle is ‘becoming more powerful due to the presence of warmer waters and low variation in wind intensity’. This will preserve the symmetrical structure that is ‘typical of hurricanes’, according to Del Campo.  

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Over the next few days, Danielle will remain west or northwest of the Azores, move east or northeast and weaken. The effects of the storm would be felt in the Azores between Wednesday and Thursday in the form of strong winds and rough seas.  

The probability of Spain being affected by strong winds remains less than 10%. However, sea areas close to the Spanish mainland are likely to experience ‘rough seas’, according to the Aemet spokesperson.  

Quiet hurricane season (so far)  

Danielle formed on Thursday after a rare August without storms or hurricanes, which has not happened for 25 years. So far, four tropical storms have formed in the first three months of the six-month season (June, July and August), one of which has developed into a hurricane: Alex, Bonnie, Colin and Danielle. Since 1960, there have only been three such August months without cyclone activity, according to AccuWeather. The last time was in 1961 and 1997. 

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