'Tiny' Beryl becomes first hurricane of season; Caribbean islands prepare

Muriel Hammond
July 11, 2018

Beryl strengthened into a hurricane early Friday morning and is being referred to as "Tiny Beryl", due to its very small size for a storm, the National Weather Service explained.

However, the storm lost strength throughout the day Saturday and will continue to weaken as it moves west. Beryl is a tropical storm as of early Sunday with maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour, after starting out as a hurricane on Saturday morning.

For the next day or so, forecasters say low wind shear will likely allow Beryl to continue strengthening, at least until it nears Hispaniola.

And yet, Berg said the conditions ahead of Beryl could allow it to strengthen a bit over the next few days as it heads for the island chain extending from the Virgin Islands to Grenada.

Currently, the center of the system was located by an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft near latitude 32.3 North, longitude 74.3 West with 70 miles per hour winds. As of Friday night, no watches or warnings have been issued.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Dominica and Guadeloupe, while a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Barbados, Martinique, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten.


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - The remnant of Tropical Storm Beryl swept over Dominica on Sunday night then dissipated, easing the threat to other eastern Caribbean islands recovering from last year's deadly hurricanes.

There were no immediate reports on any damage on Dominica from the latest storm. He recently noted that some 60,000 people still have a tarp as a roof. A faster northeastward movement is expected to take the storm away from the North Carolina coast on Tuesday. Even though it's not expected to become a threat to the USA mainland, the hurricane's future remains uncertain, as the forecast keeps changing.

"Regardless of its strength, we would expect it to bring heavy rainfall to some of those islands, which could be prone to flash flooding and mudslides", Berg said.

The National Weather Service described the center as "poorly defined".

Rodriguez said he doesn't think Puerto Rico is ready for another storm, "not even a small one".

As of 5 p.m. ET, the depression had winds of 30 mph and was located about 230 miles east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

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