Danny downgraded to tropical depression as it reaches Caribbean

AFP| Updated: Aug 24, 2015, 19:52 PM IST

US forecasters downgraded Danny, the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, to a tropical depression Monday as it reached the Caribbean.

The weather system, with maximum sustained winds near 35 miles per hour (55 kilometers per hour), was located about 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of Guadeloupe, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest update. 

It was expected to weaken further over the next 48 hours and "degenerate into a remnant low" later in the day, according to the Miami-based forecasters.

"On the forecast track, the center of Danny will continue to move across the southern Leeward Islands later this morning, and move into the northeastern Caribbean Sea later today," they said.

However, they added, between two to four inches (five to 10 centimeters) of rain are still expected to douse the Leeward Islands, the US and British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico through Tuesday.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the islands of Saba and St Eustatius.

Danny became the first hurricane of the Atlantic season on Thursday and subsequently strengthened to a category 3 storm as it churned far out at sea before being downgraded to a tropical storm then depression.

Experts said earlier this month that there was a 90 percent chance the 2015 hurricane season in the Atlantic would be less active than usual. 

They said this may be due to the strong El Nino weather pattern that is unfolding this year.