July 17, 2018

Hurricane Beryl first of Atlantic season

07 July 2018, 07:09 | Edward Lowe

Beryl becomes the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Beryl becomes the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season

In an 11 p.m. advisory, National Hurricane Center forecasters said the storm continued to intensify Friday with sustained winds reaching 80 miles per hour.

Some strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Beryl could still be a hurricane when it reaches the Lesser Antilles late Sunday or Monday.

The Category 1 storm on Friday afternoon was about 965 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles, the arc of Caribbean islands that extends from the US Virgin Islands to Grenada.

Barbados declared a hurricane watch Friday as Hurricane Beryl gathered strength in the Atlantic Ocean, the National Hurricane Center said.

There will likely be some rain and wind impacts on the Lesser Antilles islands early next week. Tropical Storm Alberto was the season's first, which developed in late May.

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On Saturday morning, the chance of tropical storm force winds lashing Puerto Rico was set at 20- to 30-percent, but the government is opening shelters as a precaution.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 10 miles (20km) and storm force winds up to 35 miles (55km) from the center of Beryl. "Confidence in the official intensity forecast is also much lower than normal", the National Hurricane Center said when issue a warning on July 6.

The storm downgraded from a category one hurricane around 11 a.m. Saturday.

Meanwhile, off the Carolinas, the topical depression that formed on Friday is moving to the north-northwest at 5 miles per hour with winds of 30 miles per hour.

While the storm is expected to dissipate as it nears the southern Caribbean islands, rain and winds are expects.

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Beryl formed on Jul. 5 and became a hurricane a day later. The depression is expected to become a tropical storm by Sunday.

Updates on the storm's progression can be found online and NWS is advising residents in the Coastal Carolinas to monitor the storm.

Meantime, forecasters are also keeping an eye on a weather system off the coast of North Carolina that could turn into a tropical depression over the weekend.

Beryl weakened back into a tropical storm after becoming the first hurricane of the 2018 season. Wind shear is expected to increase around the storm over the weekend into early next week.

The average second tropical storm is on August 1 while the average first hurricane doesn't occur until August 10.

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