[IMG: Luis; Credit: Norm Nelson, Bermuda Biological Station for Research - http://www.bbsr.edu/Weather/]

The Hurricane Page
- - Danielle - -

Updates from the Islands

What is going on now?

Archive of weather discussions and eye witness reports from the Caribbean Islands so far in the 1998 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Postings are in reverse chronological order (so it might be easier to start reading at the bottom of this page and work your way up to follow the timeline). For current events look here.

- - - Danielle - - -
For the latest NHC advisories and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator
The Practical Guide to Hurricane Tracking has all kinds of definitions and other helpful info

August 28 14:25EDT - Danielle should stay over sea
Although it still looks like Danielle is heading straight for the US, a turn more to the north is expected to take place on Sunday. Although you never know with tropical systems, the different computer models all seem to agree about its forecasted track, so that's a good sign.

[Fri, 28 Aug 1998 21:40EDT] - Alec Dittrich (visit his place in cyberspace) reporting from the Dominican Republic:

     A No Show

     If it wasn't for the immense advancements in technology nowadays, our little
     island would have never known the threat it was spared. But even with the
     satellite pictures, Doppler images and reconnaissance missions flown by
     planes, most people on this island have not the slightest idea of the storm
     depressions circling them and most couldn't care less. There was the rumor
     going from mouth to mouth that a hurricane named Bonnie was smashing the US
     coasts, but that was so distant to them as the sand storm on Mars around
     Sojourner. Sometimes weather news casters on local television station would
     talk about a storm off our coast and point to a smudge on a nice picture of
     our island behind him and say something about wind and rain.

     It wasn't until Tuesday morning that a hell broke loose for at least half of
     the day when winds busted out of nowhere onto us and torrential rain,
     falling nearly vertically, soaked our carpets and living rooms. The water
     squeezed itself through slits and cracks into the houses, a few tin roofs
     learned to fly and raincoats pulled on the people outside. Everybody else
     stayed indoors, glad to find an excuse not to work, looking amazed at the
     forces arrayed against them, observing the trees bend and crack or wiggle in
     the wind.

     As fast as it had come upon us it disappeared.
     The land turned quiet again and people stepped outside to clean up what the
     storm had messed up and reinforce their roofs. It was the hurricane. It was
     a normal little storm. It was left over of a hurricane. It was nothing.
     People laughed at the wind and came up with the most ridiculous suggestions
     of the storms source, shook their heads and thanked god for sparing them
     from any injuries. Four fisherman fell of their boats during the storm,
     three never came up. The other one was pulled ashore half dead but survived.

     Most people simply pointed at 1979 when hurricane David marched through
     their island. Now these had been times, these where winds. There we had rain
     and flash flooding. A tornado was reported to have wandered aimlessly
     through the nations capital, lifting a few cars of their parking spots and
     turning over trees. People died in the hundreds a over the island, most
     sliced into pieces by flying tin sheets and smacked by debris and water.
     Other then that the season today was quiet. Occasional rain soaked the land,
     lovers huddled together under umbrellas, the ocean wrinkled in the harbor.
     Disappointed tourists bought jolly postcard of white sand, blue water, palms
     and opaque sky's to write to their enemies truthfully "wish you were here".
     Those people that thought rain to be romantic started to see thing
     differently and those that hated rain for what it was got out of bed cursing
     and went into bed swearing.

     It is the end of August. Hurricane season is here for several more weeks.
     Most people don't care much for what reallly might happen. They only go to
     church on Sundays, girl's dressed in short skirts looking for boy's, boy's
     looking for girl's in short skirts, old ladies counting the balls on their
     necklaces, to pray for no David and people in Estados Unidos they didn't
     know. We'll see how the season will turn out. So far we have been spared
     from the evil sea spirits.

     © 1998 Alexander Dittrich

August 28 14:25EDT - Diminishing threat
It looks more and more likely that Danielle will pass clear of any landmass, even the US coast. For the latest advisories, satellite images etc, visit our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator.

[Thu, 27 Aug 1998 20:28EDT] - Tony Edwards reporting from the British Virgin Islands:

     Well, as I write, it is 0830 pm ET, and "Danielle" is some 250 miles
     north of us (I think!). There is no wind, it is rather hot and close,with
     a fairly clear, starry sky. The only excitement recently was the
     inter-hurricane tropical wave which produced some gusts in excess of 50
     knots during the night that it passed.
     Hurricanes that produce this degree of boredom remind one of the ancient
     Chinese blessings;- "May you live in dull times". (Of course, the
     corresponding curse is "May you live in interesting times!".)
     Long live dull!

August 27 17:44EDT - No news
Not much has changed. Danielle behaving as could be expected. The Tropical Prediction Center is still kind of puzzled by the apparent mismatch between the minimum central pressure and maximum winds. The relatively high pressure of 995mbar can normally never produce a hurricane with 95 mph winds. The probable cause is that this is a small and compact hurricane (see below). Anyway, it's current location is 22.1N, 60.8W or about 320 miles north northeast of the islands. Its forecasted track is a tad north of the previous one, so hopefully this trend continues and Danielle won't make any landfall.

[Thu, 27 Aug 1998 09:49EDT] - Liane Le Tendre (All-In-One BVI Vacations) reporting from Tortola (Briish Virgin Islands):

     Its very still and very quiet on Tortola today. We are experiencing heavy
     cloud cover and sporadic showers as a result of a small tropical system
     which seems to be just "hanging" over us. Boats out in the channel are
     under power. No wind to speak of at all. Surf and waves are back to normal
     and the surfers have packed up and left the Beach in front of Bomba's
     Shack. I am guessing that we may get pretty much the same outflow from
     Danielle as we had from Bonnie in the next couple of days with high winds
     and driving rain. Once that passes, everything should be "almost perfect"

August 27 8:55EDT - Danielle passing North!
Danielle's center is now located 20.8N, 57.5W, or about 395 east northeast for the islands. Since it is still moving west northwest Danielle will pass at a safe distance (reference point: Anguilla located in the NE corner of the 'island chain' is at 18.2N, 63.2W; one degree latitude is 60 nm = 69 miles). It is expected to strengthen some more, and as it looks right now the 3-day forecast projects Danielle to go north of the Bahamas. Hopefully it will take its turn to the north early enough that it will miss the US coast as well and disappear in the Atlantic.

[Thu, 27 Aug 1998 07:24EDT] - Pamelah Jills Jacobson (Fort Recovery Estates) reporting from Tortola (BVI):

     Thursday morning, so far so good.  The rain we are getting is minimal,
     great for the plants.  The sky looks clear.  The Yoga students are passing
     today, simply because of the information from Monday about Danielle.  Let
     us see what happens.

[Wed, 26 Aug 1998 23:24EDT] - Debra Vela checking in from San Juan, Puerto Rico:

     We're not really threatened by Danielle - she's already going north of us.
     Expecting the usual rain and wind.  A few people started boarding up their
     windows but looks like it's less of a priority for the meanwhile.  Whew!

     Starting to look at Edna (not yet named but a little too far South for us)!

[Wed, 26 Aug 1998 18:09EDT] - Sttom reporting from St.Thomas:

     Here in St. Thomas we take serious precautions for Danielle, even though the
     most current forecast is that she will pass well to the north of our islands.
     Should she make any signs of a turn to the south, our preparations  go into
     immediate effect.  We learned a great many lessons from Marilyn in  '95 that
     took out or seriously damaged over 50% of the structures here...

August 26 16:55EDT - Danielle weakening!
Danielle could not withstand the southernly shearing winds and has significantly weakened. Maximum sustained winds are a 'mere' 85 mph. It's center is currently located 20.1N, 53.4W. It is expected that Danielle will stay on its west northwesterly track, thereby missing the islands completely! But don't party yet, Danielle is expected to regain strength, in 72 hours maximum sustained winds are forecasted to be 115 mph (Bonnie-strength). The islands in the far west (Bahamas, Turks and Caicos) are still not off the hook

[Wed, 26 Aug 1998 10:45EDT] - David McDermott reporting from St.Thomas:

     Last night is when people finally appeared to get serious about Hurricane
     Danielle. I was shopping for the last hurricane re- supplies I needed. I
     observed many other shoppers were stocking up on necessary supplies such as
     propane, masking tape, canned goods, water, batteries, etc... An optimistic
     mood prevailed however, as most thought Danielle would head to the north of
     St. Thomas. Still, it was heartening to see they were taking no chances
     this time as Danielle only has to dip south a bit and turn more westerly
     for us to be in serious trouble. No watches have been posted as of this
     time but if she changes course, we would see watches go up as early as late
     afternoon/early evening.

     The local papers have also started to report on the potential threat to the
     islands. No real word on government reaction to the threats but I
     understand FEMA is sending down a disaster response team just in case.

     I would like to express my sympathy and concern for the people of the
     Carolina region as Hurricane Bonnie is sure to be devastating as Hurricane
     Marilyn was here in Sept. 1995. The people of the Virgin Islands prayers
     are with you all.

[Wed, 26 Aug 1998 08:46EDT] - David Hilburn reporting from St.Croix (US Virgin Islands):

     Here in St. Croix..... We all thought we would get a little of Danielle, but
     today, the latest forecast shows the storm going north of us.  We are all
     watching and waiting since it seems this could be a strong little storm.

     This one could turn at any time, however.  In the islands, whenever a storm is
     coming near you, the attitudes change.  People talk more and there is more
     commonality in the community.

     Come on down for the hurricane parties.  They begin tommorrow afternoon.

August 26 08:46EDT - Still looking good!
With time it has become less and less likely that Danielle will pose a threat to the northeastern Caribbean. It's center is located at 18.6N, 50.0W (or about 750 east of the Islands; 5AM advisories). Note that the center is already as far north as say Puerto Rico or St.Maarten. This system is also still moving west northwest. It's forecasted track for the next 3 days is again a little bit north of the previous 3-day forecast.
It is not all good news; winds have increased to 100mph, making it a Category 2 Hurricane, pressure is down to 976 mbar. Also, you never know with hurricanes, a little shift to the south and the islands might be in trouble. However, it is a relatively small hurricane compared to say Bonnie (now with 115 mph winds). Although max.windspeed are not that different for these two systems, hurricane force winds extend to 30 miles from the center for Danielle but 115 miles for Bonnie! Tropical storm winds extend to 80 miles outward for Danielle, but 230 miles for Bonnie.

[Wed, 26 Aug 1998 00:36EDT] - Liane Le Tendre (All-In-One BVI Vacations) reporting from Tortola (British Virgin Islands):

     We are all keeping our eye on Danielle but really feel it will pass us by.
     All is well today. We have scattered cloud cover and the wind has died
     right off. We had quite a wave pass through the area with lots of rain and
     winds from 20 to 45 MPH yesterday afternoon. The sea in the Sir Francis
     Drake Channel was uncommonly rough with waves from 5 to 8 feet and white
     caps in the Harbour. The feeling was that it was a result of the feeder
     bands or outflow from Bonnie. It caught a lot of us a little off guard. I
     saw quite a few bareboats racing back into Road Harbour between 2:00 and
     4:00 p.m. Other than that bit of excitement, all else is "almost perfect".

August 25 23:20EDT - Starting to look good for the NE Islands
Danielle has not strengthened over the last 6 hours. It is still moving quite rapidly west northwest at 23 mph. Danielle's center is located at 17.8N, 48.5W or about 850 miles east of the islands (=36 hours at present speed). Again the forecasted track is more to the north. As it looks right now Danielle will pass almost unnoticeably 300 miles north of the NE Caribbean! So as it looks right now we are off the hook!

[Tue, 25 Aug 1998 18:10EDT] - Luis Gonzalez Fabra reporting from the Dominican Republic:

     Here in Santo Domingo the rain have been continuos during all day, but
     in the  aftenoon. It is still cloudy. People is preparing for the
     posibility od Danielle. No damage because of raining have been reported.

[Tue, 25 Aug 1998 17:20EDT] - Christian Carreau reporting from St.Martin:

     Danielle GO TO THE NORTH 290 DEG.the new advisories bring the good
     news,for st-martin/st-marteen and i think the forecast at 9.00 pm 
     show danielle moving 24.0 N, 58.0 w.and strike probabilities 
     st-martin -1%, 
     see you next hurricane

August 25 16:50EDT - Some 'good' news...
The new advisories are in: The good thing is that Danielle has strengthened just a little bit; max. sustained winds are now near 85mph. However, the minimum central pressure has further dropped to 979 mbar. Danielle's center is currently located at 16.9N, 46.2W, or about 1030 miles east of the islands. The system is still moving west northwest near 21mph. The good news is that the most recent three day forecast shows again a more northernly track. Even better, now it looks like that Danielle will move to the north of the islands after all! But it is still way too early to write this one off, a little pust to the south and we are in trouble... Some strike probabilities (chance that center of Danielle will pass within 65 nm by Friday): St.Maarten-17%; St.Kitts-15%; Antigua-15%; St.Thomas-15%; San Juan (Puerto Rico)-14%; St.Croix-14%. More are listed in the Strike Probabilities Advisory (links here, explantions of the codes can be found in our Practical Guide).

[Tue, 25 Aug 1998 13:54EDT] - John Dovale (Megatropic.com; see their weatherpage) reporting from St.Maarten:

     St.Maarten - Danielle pre-update

     Weather is very hot and sunny today in contrast to last night which was very
     wet due to heavy rains. From the looks of things you would not think
     anything was on the way, except there is lot's of cloud cover, and it is
     still very hot outside with slight winds blowing - Everytime I have seen
     this, it was my experience that something was brewing in our
     backyard.......so I was not surprised to note that Danielle became a

     I think the feeling was the same for many people here. As you looked at the
     images on the internet, it was clear that by morning Danielle would pick up
     some power. Hopefully it will not follow the Bonnie example of
     strengthening, because this would prove to be a problem for the islands. For
     the most part we are all ready for what nature has to bring, but we would
     rather not have to experience something like LOUIS again for a few more

[Tue, 25 Aug 1998 13:09EDT] - Martha Watkins Gilkes reporting from Antigua:

     Here in Antigua people are very concerned as we well remember LUIS in
     1995.    Already people are stocking up on food items/etc from the
     grocery and  buying supplies (lumber, etc.)  Our met office has put
     people on alert  and most people are taking this very serious.  There is
     hope she will turn north as Bonnie did and that Antigua will not get the
     full blow, but it is too soon to tell this...

[Tue, 25 Aug 1998 11:34EDT] - Christian Carreau reporting from St. Martin:

     i have see the latest report and i no want to see the same on 1995 with
     louis, now i'm looking the image sat and the hurricane. in marigot and saint
     martin the people say we dont risk nothink

August 25 10:55EDT - Wow
Danielle has developed an eye, maximum sustained winds are near 80mph! This is a very fast strengthening. So Danielle is now upgraded to a hurricane! Continued strengthening is expected (to 104 mph in 48 hours!). Minimum central pressure has plummeted to 987mb. Hurricane watches may be issued for the NE Islands as early as tonight! Although the latest 3 day forecast track is a little more northernly (so further away from the islands) than the previous one, it is not looking good...

August 25 8:30EDT - Hmmmm...
Danielle is currently located at 15.7N, 42.4W. Winds have increased as expected to 50 mph. Movement is still the same. It's three day forecasted track is also very similar to yesterday's...

August 24 11:30EDT - Please...
The latest on Danielle: center located at 14.9N, 40.7W; max.sust.winds near 40 mph; still moving west northwest near 21 mph. Three day forecast similar to the previous, which means heading straight for the NE islands! The National Hurricane Center forecasts that the center of then Hurricane Danielle with 75 mph winds is located at 18.0N, 61.8W. That is 30 miles north of Barbuda...

August 24 16:50EDT - Danielle
Tropical Depression #4 has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Danielle. It's center is currently located at 14.4N, 38.8W, with maximum sustained winds near 40mph. Danielle is moving west northwest near 21 mph.
And looking at the three day forecast by NHC... A little different from 6 hours ago... And not for the better... Atmospheric conditions forecasted above the islands could inhibit Danielles curving towards the north, this means that the storm is forecasted to go straight for the NE Islands (Antigue, Barbuda, St.Maarten, etc.)!!! Danielle could be there in about 3 days, winds are by then increased to 64 knots (minimal hurricane strength). But well, it is still to early to tell, so don't get too worried yet...

August 24 12:10EDT - Tropical Depression #4 forms in Atlantic
The below mentioned tropical wave has become our TD#4. Its center currently located at 14.1N, 37.0W, or about 1550 miles east of the islands. Maximum sustained winds are near 35mph. Strengthening is expected (to up to 70mph winds in 3 days). TD#4 is moving towards the west northwest near 20mph. The good thing is that it is forecasted to keep moving WNW, so as it looks right now this system will pass north of the islands!

August 23 12:50EDT - Still going strong
Effects of the strong tropical wave can now be felt on some of the Windward Islands. Luckily so far it hasn't developed yet in a tropical depression or worse. It seems that the outflow of Bonnie (which center is located over a 1000 miles from this wave) is negatively affecting the organization of the wave (see for example this satellite image). At least Bonnie is doing something good now! However, it is still likely that this wave will become better organized. It will probably move further westward into the Caribbean Sea, crossing the islands roughly in between Guadaloupe and St.Vincent. Since water temperatures are quite high here, and if atmospheric conditions become more favorable, it might develop into a major storm... It is a little bit too early to predict it's future track (if it becomes a tropical storm or worse at all), but I would suggest that people from as far west as Puerto Rico, to as far east as Jamaica and the Caymans should keep a close eye on the progress of this system, since it is likely that it will curve to the north-(north)west later on...

August 22 10:35EDT - TD#4?
The tropical wave which is currently around 900 miles east of the Windward Islands is still looking very potent. This wave might become the next tropical depression within 48 hours. It is moving westward near 15mph (so about 60 hours from the islands when it keeps moving at its current speed). The wave is located pretty far to the south as compared to e.g. Alex and Bonnie, so chances are much lower that it will pass north of the islands...

August 21 19:15EDT - Look East!
Let's avert our attention from Bonnie for a moment, and look further to the east in the Atlantic. There we are probably seeing our next tropical cyclone in the making. Taken from the Tropical Weather Outlook:


August 19 23:05EDT - Tropical Depression #2
As expected, tropical depression number 2 formed in the Atlantic. See below for more.

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