The third tropical system of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season became a tropical storm early Sunday morning after initially forming as a tropical depression Friday afternoon.
A tropical storm warning was issued for Guadeloupe and Dominica, the latter still recovering after a battering by Hurricane Maria in September as a Category 5 storm.
Beryl remained very small, moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour, shy of Category 1 status, according to an advisory issued at 5 p.m. ET by the National Hurricane Center. At this time, Beryl is forecast to weaken to a tropical depression by Monday morning and dissipate shortly after due to increased wind shear in the Caribbean Sea. With the storm tracking a bit more to the south than expected, the NHC slightly shifted the cone away from the island, but that could change over the next few days.
Because the storm is so small - hurricane force winds extend just 10 miles from the storm's center - forecasters said it's too soon to tell what islands may get hit.
Currently, the center of the system was located by an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft near latitude 32.3 North, longitude 74.3 West with 70 miles per hour winds.
Meantime, forecasters are also keeping an eye on a weather system off the coast of North Carolina that could turn into a tropical depression over the weekend.
In any case, the center's meteorologists warned, the system will likely bring bring strong gusty winds and locally heavy rains to portions of the Lesser Antilles Sunday and Monday. He recently noted that some 60,000 people still have only tarps for roofs.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Even though it's not expected to become a threat to the US mainland, the hurricane's future remains uncertain, as the forecast keeps changing.
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