MIAMI – Forecasters say Earl has strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane as it barrels toward several islands in the eastern Caribbean.

Meanwhile, the Category 1 Hurricane Danielle was bringing dangerous rip currents to the U.S. East Coast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Earl could make landfall over the Northern Leeward Islands as soon as Sunday night. It could become a major hurricane by Tuesday.

Forecasters warn Hurricane Earl could bring battering waves and storm surge reaching up to 3 feet above normal tide levels in some areas. Hurricane warnings and watches had been issued for several islands, and heavy rains could cause flash floods and mudslides.

Earl was 225 miles east of Antigua -- about 1,700 miles from Charleston -- heading west northwest at about 15 m.p.h. It had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

Earl's projected path has it passing over the Caribbean and curving up the East Coast.

Coastal surf is expected to be rough through the week along the East Coast as a result of the storms. Lifeguards along Florida's coast have already been busy this weekend making rescues as a result of high waves and riptides generated by Danielle, which is now positioned east of Bermuda.