Three storms churn away in the Atlantic

(NBC) - It's the height of the 2010 Hurricane Season and multiple systems are churning in the Atlantic.

Earl, the second major hurricane of season, gained strength Monday, lashing Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, tracking a path toward the U.S.

Just how close to the coast Earl will get is still unknown.

"This is going to be taking a motion parallel to the coast," explains Weather Channel meteorologist Dr. Rick Knabb.  It's just a matter of how far off coast or along shore it's going to be, and that's an indication this is probably going to have an impact over a long stretch of coastline."

There is potential for hurricane force winds, rain and swells from Cape Hatteras all the way to new england.

Earl is already producing rough surf and whipping winds off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida.

Experts say warmer than average ocean temperatures could give earl the potential to become more powerful.

This past weekend Hurricane Danielle stayed well to the east of Bermuda, but generated strong surf and rip currents along the East Coast.

Rescue crews say now that Earl is on the way, dangerous swells and rip currents will remain a threat throughout the week.

Copyright 2010 NBC News.  All rights reserved.