Beryl Becomes First Named Hurricane of the Season

Beryl
Credit: NHC

Battered by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year several Caribbean islands could feel the impact of another hurricane over the next five days.

At 8:00 pm on Friday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Tropical Storm Beryl had intensified with sustained winds reaching 80 mph, and as it neared the Lesser Antilles it is expected to maintain hurricane strength, It is expected to pass the  islands including Dominica late Sunday or early Monday..

The system is a small one with hurricane force winds extending only 10 miles from its center.

On Friday Dominica which was devastated by Maria last year,  was under a hurricane watch and several surrounding islands issued tropical storm watches, with the strong winds possible by Sunday evening.

On its current trajectory the storm is expected to pass just south of Puerto Rico, still recovering from Hurricane Maria, but could have an effect on Hispaniola, home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, eastern Cuba and the north-eastern coast of Jamaica between Monday night and Tuesday afternoon.

Forecasters said there was significant uncertainty with regard to the progress and development of Beryl because it is such a small system.

At 8 p.m. on Friday, Beryl was located about 925 miles east, southeast of the Lesser Antilles, moving west at 15 mph. Over the weekend, it’s expected to speed up.

The storm should begin to weaken once it reaches the eastern Caribbean on Monday. However, forecasters warned that may not occur in time to spare the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where storms often trigger dangerous mudslides and flash flooding.

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