'Beryl' Strengthens, Expected to Hit Caribbean as Hurricane

Beryl becomes the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Beryl becomes the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Hurricane Beryl continued churning across the Atlantic Friday night with little change in its course or strength, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Due to Beryl's small size, with tropical storm winds extending outward only about 35 miles and hurricane force winds extending out about 10 miles from its center, there is greater-than-usual uncertainty in the analysis of Beryl's current intensity. The storm continues on a westerly track, reaching the islands as a hurricane by end of the weekend or early next week with some additional strengthening possible over the next 48hrs.

Beryl formed Friday and was a Category 1 storm late in the day. Barbados Meteorological Services issued an advisory this morning at 5 a.m. and Barbadians should note storm conditions with wind-speeds between 39 mph and 73 mph (63 to 117 km/h) are possible within the watch area within 36 hours.

Hurricane Beryl's center is located approximately 300 miles northeast of French Guiana.

A National Hurricane Center image shows the projected path of Hurricane Beryl, as of early June 6, 2018. The storm is moving toward the north-northwest near 5 miles per hour (7 km/h).

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A disturbance is being watched off the southeastern United States coast. "Weakening is expected once Beryl reaches the eastern Caribbean Sea on Monday, but the system may not degenerate into an open trough until it reaches the vicinity of Hispaniola and the central Caribbean Sea", the NHC said.

The depression is moving toward the north-northwest near 5 miles per hour and is forecast to slow down and meander well offshore of the coast of the Carolinas through Monday.

Updates on the storm's progression can be found online and NWS is advising residents in the Coastal Carolinas to monitor the storm. The depression will move slowly to the northwest toward the Carolina coast this weekend before slowly looping to the north, east, and then southward.

The hurricane became less organized on Saturday morning and forecasters said it soon could be downgraded to a tropical storm.

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

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