Beryl becomes the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

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Beryl is now expected to pass near Dominica and the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique early Monday as a tropical wave and then continue south of Puerto Rico.

The center added that the French tourist islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and St Barthelemy, as well as French-Dutch St Martin, were under tropical storm watch, meaning that tropical storm conditions were possible. It was located about 1,045 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles as of 11 a.m. Friday.

As of 5 a.m., the center of the storm was 150 miles south of Cape Hatteras, N.C., with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour. "On the forecast track, the center of Beryl will approach the Lesser Antilles over the weekend and cross the island chain late Sunday or Monday". Earlier, they had expected strong wind shear to weaken the storm before it neared the Lesser Antilles. Forecasters said the storm probably would dissipate once it moved south of Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Beryl has formed into a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean.

HOW THE SYSTEM MAY AFFECT SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA: Chris presents no direct threats to Southeastern North Carolina, nor the United States.

Beryl strengthened into a hurricane early Friday morning, and is being referred to as "Tiny Beryl", due to its very small size for a storm, the National Weather Service explained.

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Maximum sustained winds are near 50 miles per hour or 85 km/h with higher gusts. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has initiated advisories on TD 3.

Some of the islands are still recovering from the devastation wrought by September's back-to-back powerful hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Beryl is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches through Monday across the southern Leeward and northern Windward Islands.

Beryl will run into upper-level westerlies in Sunday night or Monday morning, making it hard for Beryl to become more organized again, and its chances of being a hurricane before reaching the Lesser Antilles have decreased significantly.

"The system is then expected to degenerate into a tropical wave as it moves across the eastern and central Caribbean Sea on Monday".

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