Tropical Storm Beryl could become hurricane on Friday

Tropical Storm Beryl could become hurricane on Friday

Beryl has become the first Atlantic hurricane after strengthening into a Category 1 hurricane overnight, according to National Hurricane Center. Beryl is a very compact storm with sustained winds of 80 miles per hour gusting to 100 miles per hour at times.

However, forecasters with the National Hurricane Center said another low-pressure system a few hundred miles southeast of North Carolina may develop into a tropical depression and move slowly or stall over the weekend.

On the forecast track, the centre of Hurricane Beryl will approach the Lesser Antilles over the weekend and cross the island chain late Sunday or Monday.

Earlier, the National Hurricane Center had warned that Beryl will remain very hard to predict.

At 11 a.m. its peak winds were clocked at 80 mph, or 6 mph above the threshold for gaining hurricane status, and those winds were forecast to grow to 100 mph in the next 48 hours.

The storm should then dissipate to just an area of low pressure by the middle of next week while it is near Cuba.

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- A new tropical depression has formed off the North Carolina coast, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say. The depression was moving toward the north-northwest at 5 miles per hour.

Officials said they will open 424 shelters across Puerto Rico as a preventive measure and urged people to monitor the storm's progress.

The first Atlantic hurricane of the season is tiny but a bit of a puzzle.

A disturbance is being watched off the southeastern United States coast.

The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, spared Bermuda previous year, but battered the Caribbean as well as the United States.

"Tropical Storm Beryl is a reminder that we are in the hurricane season and residents should be prepared to take action when required", Romeo-Marlin said. "However, at this time the only impacts expected would be an enhanced rip current threat".

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