'Tiny' Hurricane Beryl strengthens; another storm may develop off NC coast

10 July, 2018, 15:55 | Author: Courtney Reynolds
  • Hurricane Beryl could hit parts of the Caribbean

The Caribbean island of Dominica, ravaged by the deadly passage of Hurricane Maria a year ago, was again under a hurricane watch Friday as the first such storm of the 2018 Atlantic season moved toward the Lesser Antilles.

In an update from the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami, Florida, issued at 11 am on Saturday, it was reported that the former Hurricane Beryl has weakened to a Tropical Storm.

Even as Beryl approaches Maria-battered and still recovering Puerto Rico from the south early Monday as a tropical storm, few were ignoring the threat two days out.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Chris is forecast to become a hurricane on Monday.

"At 11am, Hurricane Beryl was located near latitude 10.7 degrees north and longitude 46.5 degrees west or about 913 miles east south-east of Dominica".

Tropical Storm Chris continues to meander off the coast of North Carolina. As of Friday night, no watches or warnings have been issued.

Beryl is a small tropical storm. Satellite data indicate maximum sustained winds of around 80 miles per hour with higher gusts, and some strengthening is forecast. Forecasters believe the storm will intensify into a hurricane within 72 hours.

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The Category 1 storm is expected to dissipate before reaching the eastern Caribbean but still forecast to dump heavy rain across islands including Dominica and Puerto Rico starting this weekend.

The impact of Hurricane Beryl on the Gulf of Mexico is still unclear.

"We are however still under a tropical storm warning and we need to take it seriously".

Tropical storm watches are in effect for Martinique, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten.

Meanwhile, a tropical disturbance off the North Carolina coast strengthened into a tropical depression Friday afternoon with winds of 30 miles per hour.

The 2 p.m. report shows Beryl weakening sooner than expected and could weaken further as the system approaches the Lesser Antiles over the weekend.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello said in a press conference late Saturday that the island could experience power outages and urged people without sturdy roofs to move in with relatives or a government shelter. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, forecasters warn.

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