Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Hurricane Beryl takes aim at eastern Caribbean; will likely miss Puerto Rico

Beryl becomes the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Beryl becomes the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Cary Marshall | 07 July, 2018, 19:09

After gaining strength Friday morning, Beryl was a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of almost 80 miles per hour, according to the hurricane center.

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

A tropical depression strengthened into Hurricane Beryl on Friday after gaining strength overnight, the National Hurricane Centre said. As Beryl approaches the Lesser Antilles by late this weekend, it should feel the influence of the shear over the eastern Caribbean (see Fig. 6) and weakening back into a tropical storm looks likely. If this storm reaches Tropical Storm status, it would be given the name, "Chris".

Maximum sustained winds are reaching 80 miles per hour with larger gusts. The storm's hurricane-force winds are only 20 miles wide, relatively small for a hurricane, so Beryl's behavior is especially unpredictable.

A hurricane watch was issued for Dominica, which was battered by Hurricane Maria in September as a Category 5 storm. The projected wind speeds also came down a tad to an expected peak at 90 miles per hour in two days, but forecasters stressed there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding Beryl. A tropical storm watch was issued for Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, where conditions are expected to deteriorate Saturday night with a potential for a foot of rain in some areas.

More news: Dead, Homes Destroyed As Klamathon Fire Rages Out Of Control

Beryl, the first Atlantic hurricane of the 2018 season was headed for the Lesser Antilles, where it was expected to make landfall by Monday.

Latest forecast track for Beryl from the NHC.

Interests elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of Beryl, as additional watches could be required for other islands tonight or early Saturday.

As Beryl continues to show signs of strengthening, the BVI should begin feeling the effects of the hurricane by late Sunday.

Another tropical wave, known as Invest 96-L, near Bermuda may also become a depression or a storm by next week, according to the National Hurricane Center. The development of this feature is possible as the storm moves through a low shear environment and warm ocean waters.

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