Monday, 24 September, 2018

Category 1 Beryl becomes first hurricane of Atlantic season

Tropical Depression Beryl is seen in this NASA handout satellite image dated Tropical Depression Beryl is seen in this NASA handout satellite image dated
Sandy Nunez | 07 July, 2018, 19:07

Forecasters say Beryl's present movement is towards the west-northwest at 14 miles per hour or 22 kilometres per hour.

Beryl is expected to gain strength today before weakening into a tropical storm and making landfall late Sunday or early Monday on the islands, according to data from the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters could downgrade Beryl to a tropical storm if it loses intensity. The storm's sustained winds were at 74 miles per hour. "Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles (20 km) from the centre, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km)".

A hurricane watch was issued for Dominica, which was battered by Hurricane Maria in September as a Category 5 storm. It's moving west at 15 miles per hour. The storm continued moving through the state, bringing heavy wind and rain to Tampa, while causing tornado warnings in the Orlando area.

Beryl's relatively small size (as of Friday morning) has helped the system organize and develop quickly, but it also makes it vulnerable to hostile atmospheric conditions. But this tiny storm may have the chance to further intensify over the next 24 to 36 hours.

Beryl is indeed the First Hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

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Beryl is forecast to strengthen as it tracks westward. By late Sunday, it should begin a transition back to a tropical storm, continuing a path toward the north-central Caribbean. Less favorable conditions are expected to weaken the storm by the weekend as Beryl encounters much greater wind shear conditions and drier air being advected into the path of the system.

Officials said they will open 424 shelters across Puerto Rico as a preventive measure and urged people to monitor the storm's progress. Some development of this feature is possible as the storm moves through a low shear environment.

Beryl is the easternmost hurricane to form from an African wave in July on record, according to University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy.

Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next few days and while it is expected to reach Category 1 hurricane strength by Tuesday, the track remains offshore.