Beryl becomes first hurricane of 2018 Atlantic season

Beryl has become the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

The latest forecast from the Met Office, places the center of Hurricane Beryl at 500 AM, near latitude 10.6 North, longitude 45.1 West or about 1140 miles east south-east of the Lesser Antilles. Beryl is moving toward the west near 14 mph (22 km/h). A faster west-northwestward motion is expected through the weekend.  On the forecast track, the center of Beryl will remain east of the Lesser Antilles through early Sunday.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts.  Some additional strengthening is forecast today. Beryl is forecast to quickly weaken by late Saturday and become a tropical storm or degenerate into a strong open trough near the Lesser Antilles late Sunday or Monday. Present forecast track has the system affecting mainly  the central and northern portions of the island chain.

Beryl is a very compact hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles (20 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 995 mb (29.39 inches).

Residents are advised to keep informed on the progress of this system and to make all necesary preparations as watches and or warnings may be issued later today.

Moderate seas are expected during the next 24 to 48 hours with waves peaking near 8.0 feet. Small craft operators and sea bathers, particularly on the east coast, should exercise caution.

Meanwhile, according to the Met Office, a low to mid level trough is expected to continue producing occasional cloudiness and a few scattered showers across the island chain during today. A high pressure system is projected to be the dominant feature by tonight. Breezy and hazy conditions are expected to persist during the next 24 to 48 hours.

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