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TD 7 forms, expected to strengthen as Danielle holds steady

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Depression Seven is expected to become a tropical storm later Wednesday
  • Tracking map shows it could become a hurricane and approach the Caribbean
  • Hurricane Danielle is still at Category 1 intensity

(CNN) -- Tropical Depression Seven formed Wednesday in the far eastern Atlantic, and was forecast to become Tropical Storm Earl as Hurricane Danielle remained at Category 1 intensity, the National Hurricane Center said.

The new tropical depression was about 430 miles (690 kilometers) west of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands, forecasters said. It had sustained winds of 35 mph -- just below tropical storm intensity -- with higher gusts. The depression was expected to become a tropical storm later Wednesday, the hurricane center said.

The depression was moving westward at about 17 mph (28 kph) and was expected to continue that motion for the next day or two. According to a five-day tracking map, it could become a Category 2 hurricane as it approaches the Caribbean next week.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Danielle was continuing west-northwest with no further fluctuations in intensity, the hurricane center said. The storm weakened to a tropical storm for part of Tuesday but picked up steam and regained Category 1 hurricane status Tuesday night. Its maximum sustained winds increased from 75 mph late Tuesday to 85 mph Wednesday morning, forecasters said.

Danielle's center was about 710 miles (1,145 kilometers) east of the northern Leeward Islands, the hurricane center said. The islands run between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Danielle was headed west-northwest at near 17 mph (28 kph). The hurricane is right over a low/mid-level ridge in the Atlantic, which should continue to steer it northwest with "some decrease in its forward speed" over the next three days. Slow strengthening is also possible, forecasters said.

Projections show Danielle nearing the Bermuda area by Sunday morning.

No coastal watches or warnings were in effect for either Danielle or Tropical Depression 7.