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Don intensifies into first hurricane in Atlantic this season

Don at 11 p.m. July 22, 2023..jpg
Posted at 5:22 PM, Jul 22, 2023

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Don on Saturday barely became the first hurricane of the season in the Atlantic Ocean as it enters cooler waters.

In its 5 p.m. EDT advisory, the National Hurricane Center said Don's maximum sustained gusts were 74 mph. A storm becomes a hurricane at 74 mph.

In the 11 p.m. update, maximum sustained winds were 75 mph and Don was moving north-northeast at 14 mph about 405 miles south-southeast from Cape Race, Newfoundland.

At 11 a.m., Don's maximum sustained winds were 65 mph.

The previous named storms were tropical: Arlene, Bret, Cindy.

TRACKING THE TROPICS: Hurricane Center | Hurricane Guide

Don became a post-tropical storm on July 14, dropped to a subtropical depression two days later on Sunday, a tropical depression Monday and a tropical storm on Tuesday.

"A small but distinct eye has persisted, surrounded by moderately cold cloud tops," NHC  senior hurricane specialist Richard Pasch said in a discussion. "However, the coldest cloud tops are beginning to erode on the north edge of the eye, and the upper-level outflow has also become more restricted in that direction. These factors likely indicate that Don is starting to feel the effects of nearby cooler waters and increased vertical wind shear that will ultimately lead to a swift decline in intensity."

NHC said a turn northeastward is expected Sunday, with a northeastward to east-northeastward motion expected to continue until the system dissipates Monday night or early Tuesday.

No coastal watches or warnings are in effect.

A tropical disturbance roughly midway between the Cabo Verde Islands and the Lesser Antilles has a 40% chance of cyclone formation in 48 hours and 50% through seven days. Sower activity associated with a small area of low pressure has diminished considerably since 24 hours ago, the NHC said in an 8 p.m. update.