'Tiny Beryl' becomes first hurricane of the season

'Tiny Beryl' becomes first hurricane of the season

'Tiny Beryl' becomes first hurricane of the season

The Category 1 hurricane, the first of the 2018 Atlantic season, strengthened from a tropical depression to a hurricane within 24 hours, surprising specialists who dubbed it "Brazen Beryl". It was centered 865 miles (1392 kilometers) east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles and was moving west at 14 mph (22 kph).

Beryl is officially the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season, the National Hurricane Centerannounced Friday.

The hurricane is expected to move west to west-northwestward over the weekend and into the early part of the work week, according to the NHC's official forecast path.

Beryl's impacts will begin to reach the Lesser Antilles late Sunday or Monday.

Beryl is forecast to quickly weaken by late Saturday and become a tropical storm late Sunday or Monday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

There is now the chance Beryl may survive in some form into the central Caribbean Sea early next week, though it is expected to have been weakened to some degree, possibly completely ripped apart, from wind shear by that time.

A hurricane watch has already been issued for Dominica.

The National Hurricane Center plans updated forecasts every six hours until Beryl dissipates, likely on Tuesday.

"Across the remainder of the Leeward and Windward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, rainfall amounts of one to two inches with locally higher amounts are expected", it added.

Beryl is a tiny tropical storm, as tropical-storm-force winds extend only out to 35 miles from the storm's centre.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Puerto Rico could be hit with winds of up to 40 miles per hour (64 kph) and heavy flooding as Hurricane Beryl approaches a region still trying to recover from last year's storms, forecasters said Friday.

Still, the size of the storm has weather watchers on alert.

Meanwhile, another storm, Tropical Depression 3, is crawling over the Atlantic about 150 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

- Regardless, areas of locally heavy rain and gusty winds are possible as far west as Hispañola.

"Beryl is a small hurricane". Even more worrisome: Beryl's path takes it dangerously close to tiny Dominica, an island-nation of 75,000 people still struggling to recover after taking a direct hit from Hurricane Maria a year ago.

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