Hurricane Danny
Category 3 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
Danny 2015-08-21 1115z
Danny near peak intensity early on August 21
Formed August 18, 2015
Dissipated August 24, 2015
Highest winds 1-minute sustained: 125 mph (205 km/h)
Lowest pressure 960 mbar (hPa); 28.35 inHg
Fatalities None
Damage Minimal
Areas affected Lesser Antilles
Part of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season
Hurricane Danny was an unusually small hurricane that rapidly intensified at an unusually low latitude. The fourth named storm, first hurricane, and first major hurricane of the slightly below average 2015 Atlantic hurricane season, Danny peaked as a category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph and a minimum pressure of 960 mbar.

Meteorological History

On August 16, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) began monitoring a tropical wave that had just recently emerged off the coast of west Africa. By 06:00 UTC on August 18, the wave had acquired sufficient organized deep convection to become Tropical Depression Four. Four strengthened into Tropical Storm Danny six hours later, while moving very slowly westward in the tropical Atlantic. Danny strengthened some later that evening to a 50 mph tropical storm, and maintained this intensity for over a day. On August 19, dry air entrainment from the Saharan Air Layer caused Danny to nearly become devoid of deep convection, however, the cyclone was able to maintain a well-defined circulation.

After convection redeveloped, Danny began to strengthen in the Atlantic Main Development Region (MDR) as it developed an eye feature. At 12:00 UTC on August 20, Danny strengthened into a hurricane. Rapid intensification commenced shortly thereafter, and Danny acquired Category 2 status by 00:00 UTC on August 21. The intensification continued, and at 12:00 UTC that day, Danny strengthened into a major hurricane, reaching its peak intensity as a category 3 hurricane with a minimum pressure of 960 mbar. Danny was a very small hurricane with a very tight windfield. It also became the first major hurricane to develop in the Atlantic MDR since Hurricane Julia in 2010. Danny began to weaken that afternoon, but was not operationally classified as a major hurricane until 18:00 UTC that day, when a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft identified winds that suggested a major hurricane. Danny fell below major hurricane status at 00:00 UTC on August 22 as its eye disappeared from satellite imagery.

As Danny approached the Lesser Antilles, strong shear - likely associated with El Nino - began to cause Danny to rapidly weaken. Danny weakened to a tropical storm at 00:00 UTC on August 23. The weakened tropical storm passed near Guadeloupe, bringing light but somewhat beneficial rains to the area. Danny weakened to a tropical depression at 12:00 UTC on August 24, and then dissipated at 18:00 UTC that day. Danny's effects in the Lesser Antilles were minor, with no fatalities reported.