Tropical Storm Beryl forms in the Atlantic

Tropical Storm Beryl forms in the Atlantic

Tropical Storm Beryl forms in the Atlantic

A tropical depression has formed west of Bermuda as Hurricane Beryl continues its path towards the Caribbean.

As of 1:30 p.m., the system had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour and was moving westward at 16 miles per hour.

The National Hurricane Center said the depression could become a tropical storm later on Thursday or Friday. Five to nine of those would become hurricanes, while only one to four could be major storms with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour.

Beryl had triggered a hurricane watch for Dominica and tropical storm watches for Barbados, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy. It is east of SC and forecasters believe the system could strengthen before the weekend as it moves to the west-northwest and then to the north between Bermuda and the East Coast of the United States.

Because Beryl is so small, forecasters were less certain about just how much the storm could strengthen.

Colorado State forecasters Philip Klotzbach and Michael Bell expect there will 10 named storms in the 2018 season that began on June 1, below average for the period.

In a release issued at 8 p.m. Wednesday, the NHC said the system is about 1,000 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands, roughly halfway between Africa and the Caribbean.

Then at the end of May, although the predicted number of storms remained the same, it was forecast that six would become hurricanes, two of them major. Dry Saharan air and dust combined with strong wind shear over the Caribbean will knock Beryl down to a tropical storm as it heads deeper into the Caribbean. We'll continue to monitor Beryl from the First Alert Hurricane Center. But earlier today, that was replaced by a tropical storm warning.

More summer storms are expected across Central Florida on Thursday, a day after a tornado touched down in Tavares, causing damage.

While tropical storms can develop any time from February through December, July storms are somewhat unusual, according to the NHC.

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