Tiny Beryl is Season's First Hurricane

Hurricane Beryl could hit parts of the Caribbean

Tiny Beryl has become the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Satellite imagery indicates convection has persisted with enough tenacity and enough evidence of surface low pressure existence that the National Hurricane Center (NHC) indicated the formation of Tropical Storm Beryl yesterday afternoon.

As of 5 p.m. ET Friday, Beryl had winds of 80 miles per hour and was moving to the west at 15 miles per hour.

The system may not degenerate until it reaches the vicinity of Hispaniola and the central Caribbean Sea.

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Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Chris is forecast to become a hurricane on Monday.

Though the storm's intensity could still fluctuate unpredictably, its chances of regaining hurricane strength before reaching the Lesser Antilles, the arc of islands from the US Virgin Islands to Grenada, have dropped significantly, CNN meteorologists said.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 65 miles per hour (100 km/h) with higher gusts.

Still, "swells generated by the depression are expected to increase and affect portions of the coasts of North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic states this weekend", forecasters said. On the forecast track, the centre of Beryl will remain east of the Lesser Antilles through Sunday.

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A tropical storm warning is up on Guadeloupe and Dominica, while a tropical storm watch has been issued for the French Caribbean territories of Martinique, St. Martin and St. Barts as well as St. Maarten, Barbados, St. Lucia, Saba and St. Eustatius. Neither has Puerto Rico, where some 60,000 people still have a tarp as a roof and more than 1,000 customers remain without power more than nine months after the storm. Forecasters say the storm is likely to maintain its hurricane status as it approaches and crosses the islands.

"Some pockets of moderate to heavy showers and occasional gusty winds are possible [with] rainfall accumulations of one to two inches with isolated higher amounts". Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told people to store water because the government would be shutting down the water system as a precaution, and he warned them to stay alert despite the storm weakening.

Gabriel Rivera-Cruz, a resident of San Juan, went to the same Costco on Thursday night with his family and was surprised to see long lines of people already there.

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