Hurricane Beryl gains strength as it heads toward islands

New predictions for hurricanes, storms in the Caribbean this season

The National Hurricane Center said in an update at 11:00 am on Thursday that the tropical depression is generally travelling in a westward direction, but is expected to dissipate east of the Lesser Antilles over the weekend. The storm remains extremely compact, with hurricane force winds only extending 10 miles from the center of the storm and tropical storm force winds only extending out 35 miles. TD2 is expected to strengthen into a weak Tropical Storm by Friday morning. The system is forecast to degenerate into an open trough east of the Lesser Antilles over the weekend.

A hurricane watch remains in effect for Dominica. "Again, it's a little uncertain at this time, so we'll just have to keep an eye on it", Loewenthal explained.

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The minimum central pressure estimated from earlier reconnaissance data is 1014 mb (29.95 inches). Additional weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Beryl is likely to weaken to a tropical depression after moving across the Lesser Antilles. The depression is moving toward the west near 16 miles per hour (26 km/h). A gradual west-northwest movement is expected over the next several days. And even though it's expected to weaken prior to reaching the Leeward Islands, they won't be entirely out of the woods early next week.

Cooler sea surface temperatures and strong trade winds created across the Atlantic Basin by the Pacific warm-water phenomena known as El Niño inhibit the growth of storms.

Tiny Beryl becomes a hurricane
The NHC noted that it's possible for the storm to deteriorate to an open wave before hitting the Lesser Antilles on Monday . Small storms can morph quickly - Beryl flared up from a depression Thursday morning to a hurricane in less than 24 hours.


Beryl has become increasingly less organized, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Following Tropical Storm Alberto, which developed during Memorial Day weekend, there were no tropical storms over the Atlantic basin during June for the first time since 2014, AccuWeather reported.

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The center determined the intensity of the storm to be 45 knots, but added "there is a lot of uncertainty in this estimate". This forecast is very close to what we consider an average season - 12 named storms, 6.5 hurricanes and two major hurricanes. It made landfall on the Florida Panhandle as a subtropical storm and ushered drenching rains across states in the South and Midwest.

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