Humberto became the first hurricane of this year’s Atlantic season early Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
The Category 1 hurricane is currently west of the Cape Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic but is not expected to make landfall.
The cyclone formed at 5 a.m. ET, with sustained windspeeds of 75 mph. These were expected to increase to 85 mph over the next 24 hours before decreasing to 40 mph over the next ten days, the hurricane center said.
Humberto missed out by a mere three hours on the record of being tardiest first arrival in a hurricane season in the satellite era. Hurricane Gustav formed at 8 a.m ET on September 11, 2002.
Hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski told AccuWeather: “Humberto is entering an area of the atmosphere with low disruptive winds.” He said this had helped Humberto become hurricane.
“Late this week, Humberto is likely to weaken while moving into a zone with drier air and more disruptive winds,” he added.
The hurricane is currently traveling north about 350 miles west of Cape Verde. It is predicted to make a westerly turn into the Mid Atlantic in three days’ time, at which point it will weaken into a tropical storm once more. Experts say it poses no threat to the U.S.
Before sweeping past Cape Verde, Humberto battered the southernmost flank of the islands with hard rain and wind gusts.
It was previously the eighth tropical storm of the season, which started on June 1 and is set to run until Nov. 30.
NBC News’ Daniel Arkin contributed to this report.
First published September 11 2013, 3:41 AM