Beryl becomes first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season

Pauline Gross
July 8, 2018

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has confirmed that a storm named Beryl is the first hurricane of the 2018 season.

Beryl remains a very small storm with not much convection around it which is allowing the center to quickly push off to the WNW at 17 miles per hour and head for the Lesser Antilles Islands.

Earlier, the hurricane center had described the storm as "Tiny Beryl" because of "its very small size". Since Beryl is a compact storm, hurricane-force winds are extending only up to 10 miles from the center of the storm and tropical storm force winds are extending 35 miles from the center.

Beryl is forecast to approach the Lesser Antilles over the weekend and cross the island chain late Sunday or Monday.

A hurricane watch was issued for Dominica, which was battered by Hurricane Maria in September as a Category 5 storm.

Forecasters said Beryl appears to have lost some of its organization from Friday afternoon, and they have lowered any expected strengthening.

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Wind and rain could be expected on those islands in the coming days.

Sustained winds are near 30 miles per hour with higher gusts and the depression is forecast to become Tropical Storm Chris either today or tomorrow, with gradual strengthening expected through Monday when it could reach hurricane strength well offshore. Beryl is moving west at 15 miles per hour (24km/h) with maximum sustained winds are near 80mph or 130km/h.

Wind speed probabilities for Tropical Storm Beryl as at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 7.

In fact, it's only one of two such hurricanes to form this early in the season east of the Lesser Antilles.

Meanwhile, a tropical depression formed in the Atlantic well off the North Carolina coast, and the hurricane centre said it was expected to remain offshore as it strengthens into a tropical storm on Saturday. The area of low pressure located midway between the southeastern United States and Bermuda has become sufficiently organized as to be officially declared Tropical Depression Three. Meteorologist Odalys Martinez said in a phone interview that conditions would deteriorate late Sunday, with up to 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) of rain possible.

As Invest 96 L develops into a tropical cyclone (tropical depression or tropical storm) over the next couple of days, the system will track slowly north and westward towards the outerbanks of North Carolina.

Other reports by GizPress

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