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Danielle reaches Category 4 strength; Tropical Storm Earl forecast to become a major hurricane

At 5 a.m. Hurricane Danielle had reached Category 4 strength packing maximum sustained winds at 135 mph. The storm was located about 545 miles southeast of Bermuda and moving northwest at 12 mph.

Swells from Hurricane Danielle are expected to start affecting portions of the Eastern Seaboard beginning Friday.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect but interests in Bermuda are being urged to monitor Danielle’s progress.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Earl was centered about 1,525 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands. Earl had sustained winds of 45 mph and was moving about 17 mph.

The next advisory update is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Tropical Storm Earl now is forecast to reach hurricane strength by Saturday and eventually become a major hurricane with sustained winds of 115 mph and curve about 500 miles east of the southern Bahamas by next Tuesday.

The latest projected path has shifted slightly to the west, putting the storm closer to the U.S. coastline, generally toward the Carolinas.

Whether the system turns north out to sea will depend on whether it finds its way around an area of high pressure to its north, forecasters said.

Models still indicate it will do so. The National Hurricane Center said that is not assured.

At 5 a.m. Friday, Earl was in the Central Atlantic about 1,430 miles east of the Leeward Islands, moving west at 17 mph with sustained winds of 45 mph.

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