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Danny becomes year's first hurricane, targets West Indies

Danny has become the year's first hurricane and is expected to reach the Caribbean early next week.

The storm was about 1,100 miles east of the Windward Islands and had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph as of 11 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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Though it has strengthened, Hurricane Danny is a relatively small tropical cyclone, the hurricane center said. Hurricane-force winds of at least 74 mph extend "only" 10 miles from its center, and tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 mph extend 60 miles from its center.

No hurricane watches or warnings have been issued, with the storm not expected to threaten land until early next week. Current forecasts suggest it will strike the Windward Islands and then weaken to tropical storm status as it passes over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, though its track and intensity could easily change before then.

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Danny is expected to strengthen further over the next few days, but is no longer expected to become a Category 2 storm. Its maximum sustained winds are forecast to peak at about 85 mph Friday before weakening to 75 mph by Sunday.

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