Hurricane Beryl could hit parts of the Caribbean

Tropical Storm Beryl could become hurricane on Friday

But the compact storm, the first hurricane of the season, is still on a path that would take it over the Lesser Antillles and into the eastern Caribbean by Sunday night or early Monday.

However, the NHC is warning that changes to Beryl's intensity will be "difficult to predict" due to its small size.

Beryl is the second named storm of the 2018 hurricane season. Maximum sustained winds were at 75 miles per hour with a minimum central pressure of 995 mb.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to ten miles (20km) and storm force winds up to 35 miles (55km) from the centre of Beryl.

Hurricane Beryl's center is located approximately 300 miles northeast of French Guiana. Small storms can morph quickly - Beryl flared up from a depression Thursday morning to a hurricane in less than 24 hours.

As of 5 pm ET on Thursday, Beryl had winds of 50 miles per hour and was moving to the west at 16 miles per hour.

While the storm is expected to dissipate as it nears the southern Caribbean islands, rain and winds are expects. 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 past year. Weakening is then expected as it reaches the Caribbean Sea on Monday.

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The depression is expected to get stronger, however, and could become Tropical Storm Chris on late tonight or on Sunday. In its 7 a.m. Saturday (July 7) advisory, the National Hurricane Center reported that the system showed signs of being less organized, and it could be downgraded to a tropical storm later in the morning.

According to the NOAA, Beryl is now 1,140 miles off the coast of the Lesser Antilles.

Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for additional development of this system, and a tropical depression is likely to form over the next couple of days while it moves slowly northwestward and stalls or meanders near the coast of North Carolina over the weekend.

Beryl, a tiny, fast-moving storm, will likely be a hurricane when it reaches Caribbean islands over the weekend hit hard by Hurricane Maria past year.

We are also monitoring Hurricane Beryl (see Fig. 5).

Meteorologist Odalys Martinez said in a phone interview that conditions would deteriorate late Sunday, with up to 3 inches (7.62 centimetres) of rain possible.

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