July 17, 2018

Beryl has potential to become Category 2 hurricane

07 July 2018, 10:57 | Edward Lowe

New predictions for hurricanes, storms in the Caribbean this season

Subtropical Storm Alberto came ashore on the Florida Panhandle in late May. Despite this early season activity some forecasters are expecting the rest of the season to be below average

Some strengthening is possible, and the depression could become a tropical storm later today or on Friday.

It began issuing advisories at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1009 mb (29.80 inches).

Forecast models suggests Beryl could reach hurricane strength within 36 hours, but after that time increasing westerly shear is expected to cause weakening.

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Only 45 named tropical storms have formed in the first half of July from 1851-2017, for an average rate of one every 3.7 years.

There are no watches or warnings in effect for the storm. The system is expected to move west and north, deteriorating before it approaches the Lesser Antilles, an arc of small islands in the Caribbean southeast of Puerto Rico. A gradual west-northwest movement is expected over the next several days. After which, it is forecast to become an open trough East of the Lesser Antilles.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50 miles per hour (85 km/h) with higher gusts.

But it's far out at sea and is expected to weaken before it reaches the Caribbean.

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Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles (20 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km).

Live 5 Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh said Beryl is not going to affect the weekend, and looks like, at this point, not a factor for the Lowcountry's future.

Beryl won't have much impact to anyone, it's a tiny storm drifting through a very unfriendly environment for storms it is surrounded by dry air and high wind shear. A center of circulation was found at the surface Thursday morning and Invest 95-L was upgraded to Tropical Depression Two. However in recent weeks, warming waters in the Pacific have hinted that an El Niño weather pattern may form, which would produce upper atmospheric winds that could help tamp down the ferocity of storms in the Atlantic.

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