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Hello, Tropical Depression Four!

As of 11 a.m., the National Hurricane Center is issuing statements and advisories regarding our newest tropical system brewing far out in the Atlantic. Tropical Depression Four is about half-way between Africa and South America right now, and it has a long way to go before being a threat to land.

This one has a tinge of excitement for storm watchers because the models are in pretty good agreement about its development. The expectation is that Four will be upgraded and renamed Tropical Storm Danny later today or tonight, and by Friday, Danny could be a hurricane.

The conditions are pretty favorable for strengthening in the part of the Atlantic Ocean that the storm is forecast to move over the next few days. The sea surface temperature is warm enough, there is not too much wind shear, and there is nothing keeping it from moving forward. So, TD Four, as it is currently called, bears watching.

While it is still far too early to tell if the storm will affect North Carolina, a quick look at historical hurricane tracks for the month of August show a pretty even chance it could at least pass our coast as opposed to taking a path into the Gulf of Mexico.

The current hurricane forecast track models are taking it in a west-northwesterly direction toward the Caribbean, but most of those models only forecast a maximum of 216 hours (about 9 days) in advance. Assuming future Danny holds together that long, we will have a better idea at this time next week as to which direction his path will go.

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