Published: Sat, July 07, 2018
Science | By

NHC says Hurricane Beryl strengthens, approaching Lesser Antilles

NHC says Hurricane Beryl strengthens, approaching Lesser Antilles

Beryl remained very small, churning along at 14 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour, shy of Category 1 status, according to an advisory issued at 11 a.m. ET by the National Hurricane Center. Tropical Depression Three is forecast to strengthen during the next 24 hours and could potentially become tropical storm Chris.

Beryl is forecast to degenerate into an open trough just east of the Lesser Antilles over the weekend.

There are no watches or warnings in effect for the storm. It is east of SC and forecasters believe the system could strengthen before the weekend as it moves to the west-northwest and then to the north between Bermuda and the East Coast of the United States. Beryl is the first mid-Atlantic storm to develop in July since 2014, while Alberto marked the fourth season in a row with a tropical system developing before the "official" start of the season on June 1.

It was located about 1,330 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles, a chain of islands in the eastern Caribbean Sea.

In May, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters predicted that the Atlantic would produce more storms than normal during the coming season.

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

That's a huge turnaround from previous year when no less than three Category 4 storms hit USA shores, virtually destroying Puerto Rico's power grid, bringing record flooding to Texas and bowling over the Florida Keys.

Hurricane Beryl, a compact storm almost 2,000 miles from North Carolina, is not expected to have any impact on the Southeast coast. The small storm is expected to encounter wind shear as early as Sunday, allowing for the storm to weaken.

Hurricane-force winds extend only 10 miles from the center, making the storm extraordinarily compact.

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