Tropical Storm Danny churns through Atlantic

Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:55pm EDT
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By Jim Loney

MIAMI (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Danny formed in the Atlantic Ocean east of the Bahamas on Wednesday and set a course that could take it near the northeastern U.S. states as a hurricane by the weekend.

The fourth tropical storm of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season posed no foreseeable threat to the Gulf of Mexico oil patch and on its most likely track was expected to stay well out to sea for the next few days, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Danny's first approach to land was likely to come early Saturday, when it would be off the vulnerable coastal islands of North Carolina. By Saturday afternoon it was expected to be nearing the coast around Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson intensity scale.

U.S. President Barack Obama is vacationing at nearby Martha's Vineyard this week. Funeral services for Senator Edward Kennedy are scheduled for Saturday in Boston.

A small westward shift in the NHC forecast track could send it ashore in North Carolina. Forecasters say the average error in their forecast three days in advance is about 200 miles.

"The forecast track is roughly parallel to the U.S. East Coast and any deviation from the track could make a large difference in what areas get impacted by Danny," the hurricane center said in a statement.

By early Sunday, Danny was expected to be near the U.S.-Canada border between Maine and New Brunswick.


<p>A man videotapes the storm surge created by Hurricane Bill in Cow Bay, Nova Scotia, August 23, 2009. REUTERS/Paul Darrow</p>