NHC: Tropical Storm Beryl Could Become Hurricane by Saturday

New predictions for hurricanes, storms in the Caribbean this season

Hurricane Beryl has strengthened in the tropical Atlantic becoming the first hurricane of the 2018 season.

Hurricane Beryl has maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 km/h).

On the forecast track, the center of Beryl will approach the Lesser Antilles through Sunday, cross the island chain Sunday night, and move south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Monday.

The top sustained winds around Beryl increased to 65 miles per hour, but the storm is still very small in overall diameter. Additional strengthening is forecast, and Beryl could become a hurricane by Friday or Saturday.

But the latest weather forecasts and hurricane models suggest the storm was not a taste of what it is to come this year, particularly after an incredibly devastating hurricane season last year.

By the time it reaches the central Caribbean Tuesday, the storm system could dissipate into a just an area of low pressure. And we don't usually see the first hurricane anywhere in the Atlantic basin until the 10th of August, with the second named storm not usually forming until August 1st. If this storm reaches Tropical Storm status, it would be given the name, "Chris". A fast westward to west-northwestward motion is expected through the weekend of July 7 and 8.

As far as the low-pressure system offshore, it has a 70-percent chance of cyclone development over the next two days, increasing the likelihood of showers and thunderstorms, according to a Friday morning National Hurricane Center weather outlook. Anything more than that is considered a tropical storm.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center.

We'll continue to monitor the progress of Tropical Depression Two. Originally, they had predicted 14 named storms, 6 hurricanes of which 2 would be major hurricanes.

"Beryl has been a bit of a surprise today, which is not uncommon for tiny tropical cyclones such as itself", the NHC 5 p.m. Thursday advisory said, noting, "It's usually hard to get a good handle on the intensity of these types of cyclones".

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