Published: Sat, July 07, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

Beryl becomes first hurricane of the Atlantic's 2018 season

Beryl becomes first hurricane of the Atlantic's 2018 season

Hurricane Beryl has formed east of the Lesser Antilles and is a Category 1 hurricane, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

However, the NHC is warning that changes to Beryl's intensity will be "difficult to predict" due to its small size. Beryl is moving west at 14 miles per hour. The center now says Beryl could "still be a hurricane when it reaches the Lesser Antilles late Sunday or Monday", but it's expected to weaken when it hits the eastern Caribbean Sea on Monday. It was expected to pass about 70 miles (113 kilometres) south of Puerto Rico on Monday, but forecasters warned the storm-wracked US territory could see up to 30 mph winds and heavy rains that could cause flooding and mudslides. If this storm reaches Tropical Storm status, it would be given the name, "Chris".

Maximum sustained winds were 75 miles per hour or 120 kilometres per hour.

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The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and peaks from mid-August to late-October.

Meanwhile, off the Carolinas, the topical depression that formed on Friday is moving to the north-northwest at 5 miles per hour with winds of 30 miles per hour. Lojero also warned that the storm is expected to dump up to four inches (10 centimeters) of rain and could unleash landslides. It took a mere 24 hours for Beryl to turn from depression to hurricane, but she's not expected to become a very powerful storm, according to CBS News. The system is forecast to be close to hurricane strength when moving through the region.

The depression is forecasted to become a tropical storm on Saturday.

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Officials said they will open 424 shelters across Puerto Rico as a preventive measure and urged people to monitor the storm's progress. The system is forecast to move slowly northwestward and could meander or stall near the North Carolina coast over the weekend.

Tropical Depression 3 is located 195 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, Saturday morning and is moving north-northwest at 6 mph.

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

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

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