Tropical depression forms in the Atlantic

Sunday, 08 Jul, 2018

Tropical Storm Beryl, a compact, fast-moving system, continued to intensify Thursday and could become a hurricane in the coming days.

The storm is producing winds of 80 mph making it a category one storm, still located over 950 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

Hurricane Beryl lost some strength overnight but is still packing maximum-sustained winds of 75 miles per hour as it moves toward the Caribbean. Some strengthening is forecast during the next several days, and the depression could become a tropical storm later Saturday night or on Sunday.

A hurricane watch has been issued for the island of Barbados and a tropical storm watch has been posted for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy. It's projected to move west and north, between Bermuda and the east coast of the United States. "By Tuesday, a faster northeastward motion is expected to begin", forecasters said.

Tropical Storm Beryl has formed between west Africa and the Lesser Antilles, but is unlikely to survive as a tropical cyclone by the time it reaches the Lesser Antilles this weekend.

The depression is moving toward the north-northwest near 5 miles per hour and is forecast to slow down and meander well offshore of the coast of the Carolinas through Monday. The first storm of the season was Subtropical Storm Alberto in May. 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. Weakening is then expected as it reaches the Caribbean Sea on Monday. But that has been revised to 11 named storms, 2 hurricanes and only 1 major storm for all of 2017.

The N.H.C. said interests elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of Hurricane Beryl, as additional watches could be required for other islands tonight or early Saturday.