Beryl becomes the first hurricane this season

Beryl becomes the first hurricane this season”

Hurricane Beryl is one of only 2 other storms to become hurricanes in the satellite era before August 1st.

Tropical Depression Beryl is seen in this NASA handout satellite image dated May 29, 2012.

Beryl strengthened into the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season east of the Lesser Antilles early Friday. The center's forecasters estimate Beryl will cross past the Lesser Antilles Sunday or Monday.

Beryl's "very small size" is making forecasting hard for the National Hurricane Center.

A storm has to have winds of at least 39 miles per hour to be considered a tropical storm and get a name.

The well-defined system was located a few hundred miles southeast of North Carolina on Friday morning. Forecasters say the storm will likely maintain its hurricane status as it approaches and crosses the islands.

Beryl is now expected to pass near Dominica and the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique early Monday as a tropical wave and then continue south of Puerto Rico.

The showers and storms are beginning to form a close circulation but it is not expect to strengthen much beyond maybe a tropical depression this weekend as it meanders just off the coast, however it could cause some rough seas for the beaches of North and SC. Forecasters said there's a greater-than-usual uncertainty in the analysis of the storm's current intensity and in the forecasted intensity. The NHC noted that it's possible for the storm to deteriorate to an open wave before hitting the Lesser Antilles on Monday.

"Residents and visitors are encouraged to expedite preparations as we are moving further into 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season".

Beryl is not expected to have any impact on the eastern United States.

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