Beryl becomes first named Atlantic hurricane of 2018

Tropical Storm Beryl could become hurricane on Friday

Beryl becomes first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season

Beryl is one of two systems the Weather Authority is monitoring in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The storm is located about 1,140 miles southeast of the Lesser Antilles with winds of 75 mph. On the forecast track, the center of Beryl will remain east of the Lesser Antilles through early Sunday. However, it is expected to gain speed on Friday before downgrading late Saturday to a tropical storm or a strong trough by late Sunday or Monday.

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.

Meanwhile, a tropical disturbance is being monitored closer to the US where it is located between the southeast coast of the country and Bermuda. Hurricane force winds only extend out from the center by 10 miles.

Hurricane Beryl has registered 80 miles per hour max sustained winds. Despite the predicted weakening, residents in some of the islands along Beryl's path should be prepared for heavy showers and occasional gusty winds. If it does become a named storm, the next name on the list is Chris.

The storm is moving toward the Lesser Antilles, where it is expected to encounter wind shear.

Last year's hurricane season left a path of devastation across the Caribbean Islands and the United States overseas territory of Puerto Rico, where locals are still recovering almost one year on.

Beryl has become the first Atlantic hurricane after strengthening into a Category 1 hurricane overnight, according to National Hurricane Center.

The system moves slowly northwestward and stalls, or meanders, near the coast of North Carolina over the weekend.

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