Hurricane Beryl heads for late weekend entry into Caribbean

Hurricane Beryl heads for late weekend entry into Caribbean

The center of the storm was located 925 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles and was moving west near 15 mph, the NHC said in its 8 p.m. EDT update.

Meanwhile, further out in the Atlantic Ocean, Beryl is expected to hit the eastern Caribbean as a hurricane instead of dissipating, threatening islands still trying to recover from last year's storms, forecasters said Friday.

Tropical Storm Beryl has become the first Atlantic hurricane after strengthening overnight, according to National Hurricane Center. Regardless of strength, Beryl is expected to bring gusty winds and heavy rainfall to a small area of the Lesser Antilles Sunday and Sunday night.

The only storm accounted for this season before Beryl is Alberto, a subtropical system that formed on May 25th in the Caribbean Sea and made landfall a few days later in Laguna Beach, Florida.

THE LATEST ON T.D.THREE: As of late Friday Afternoon, T.D. Three had maximum sustained winds of 30 miles per hour.

The government of Barbados issued a hurricane watch for Dominica and the French government issued a tropical storm watch for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, according to the National Hurricane Center. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has given this low a 70% chance of development into a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours and an 80% chance of development over the next five days. It was moving north-northwest at 6 miles per hour (9 kph).

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

Beryl is not expected to pose any threat to the US mainland.

Beryl could strengthen in the next 24 hours before weakening late Saturday.

Beryl was upgraded to a hurricane based on microwave and infrared satellite imagery showing a "pinhole eye" had developed early Friday morning. Residents of the Lesser Antilles should closely monitor the storm.

The depression is expected to get stronger, however, and could become Tropical Storm Chris on late tonight or on Sunday.

The hurricane center predicts the storm will continue its path heading northwest off the coast of North Carolina. Additional watch areas may be required for other islands later today. Wind shear is expected to increase around the storm over the weekend into early next week.

Meteorologist Odalys Martinez said in a phone interview that conditions would deteriorate late Sunday, with up to 3 inches (7.62 centimetres) of rain possible.

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