Beryl becomes first hurricane of the 2018 season

Gwen Vasquez
July 9, 2018

The government of Barbados issued a hurricane watch for Dominica and the French government issued a tropical storm watch for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, according to the National Hurricane Center. "Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch areas of the Lesser Antilles by later today or Monday", forecasters said, "Strong gusty winds are also possible in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Monday".

While Chris is not forecast to move over the next several days, Tropical Storm Beryl is moving west-northwestward toward the Lesser Antilles. 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. It was predicted to pass south of Puerto Rico on Monday as a tropical depression, but forecasters warned that the storm-wracked USA territory could see up to 30 miles per hour winds and heavy rains that could cause flooding and mudslides.

As of Sunday, the National Hurricane Center was projecting that Chris would approach the Atlantic Ocean waters off Nova Scotia by 2 a.m. Thursday.

Saturday morning NOAA satellite photo shows Beryl, now a tropical storm, moving towards the Lesser Antilles.

At 6pm, the system was 612 miles west of Bermuda, with winds of about 35mph and higher gusts.

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A potential impact on Puerto Rico, still recovering after Maria's devastation, remained unclear.

The Category 1 hurricane, the first of the 2018 Atlantic season, strengthened from a tropical depression to a hurricane within 24 hours, surprising specialists who dubbed it "Brazen Beryl".

The National Weather Service described the center as "poorly defined". Weakening is expected once Beryl reaches the eastern Caribbean Sea on Monday July 09.

The storm will linger off the North Carolina coast through Monday, and then begin northeast late Monday night through Friday, the NWS reports.

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