August 29, 2009 — -- Tropical Storm Danny weakened enough that the National Hurricane Center said Saturday it no longer qualified as a named storm. But it still spread enough rain, along with gusty winds, to make for a messy day in the eastern U.S.
The hurricane center said what remained of Danny had combined with a low pressure system crossing the east coast, and was racing up the eastern seaboard.
The hurricane center reported maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour on Saturday, down from 60 on Wednesday. But there were higher gusts, and potentially dangerous rip currents along the New England coastline.
Danny had threatened to become a weak hurricane, but never became well enough "organized," in forecasters' parlance, to produce hurricane-force winds.
The hurricane center's maps showed the storm heading north of Cape Cod Saturday night. And because the storm did not form a tight spiral, strong winds extended up to 200 miles from the center.
So authorities urged caution. High seas caused by Hurricane Bill last weekend swept three bystanders out to sea. A 7-year-old girl was killed.
"People tend to underestimate the power of water," said Mickey Brown, deputy director of the eastern region of the National Weather Service. "Complacency is a big problem because people tend to think that that can't happen to me, so they don't prepare properly. Then they underestimate the power of the storm and unfortunately sometimes get trapped."
Winds from the west are pushing Danny away from the U.S. mainland. But the Great Lakes rain, combining with Danny, meant a stormy Saturday for the northeast.
The weather was somber for the funeral of Sen. Edward Kennedy.
Tropical Storm Danny Wimps Out, But Still a Rain Maker
The White House decided not to mess with the storm. President Obama, who delayed the start of his vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., last weekend because of Hurricane Bill, ended it a day early because of Danny. He went to Boston Friday night for the Kennedy funeral.
The White House said he would spend time at Camp David next week
"He's looking to get a break from his vacation," said spokesman Bill Burton.