Beryl becomes first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season

Clay Curtis
July 7, 2018

Dominica issued a hurricane watch, while a tropical storm watch was in effect for the islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy. "The system could degenerate into an open trough by the time it reaches the central Caribbean Sea and Hispaniola on Tuesday", the DDM said.

The red X shows the location of a tropical disturbance that might strengthen into a tropical depression or a tropical storm during the next few days.

Many worry Beryl will cause power outages across Puerto Rico given the fragility of the US territory's electrical grid after Maria destroyed up to 75 percent of its distribution lines.

"Tropical Storm Beryl is a reminder that we are in the hurricane season and residents should be prepared to take action when required", Romeo-Marlin said. By the morning July 6, Tropical Storm Beryl had racked up enough speed and strength to transform from a tropical depression into a full-fledged hurricane.

It said additional intensification could occur by the end of the forecast period when the cyclone moves northeastward away from the USA coast and interacts with a mid-level trough.

The forecast doesn't change much for early next week.

Hurricane season is officially underway, thanks to Tropical Storm Beryl. It could have impacts too in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

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Some of the islands are still recovering from the devastation wrought by September's back-to-back powerful hurricanes Irma and Maria. Tens of thousands of people are living in homes without permanent roofs, and the power grid routinely fails during passing showers.

"There are a lot of Puerto Ricans who are in a vulnerable position", Rossello said. "It is not the moment to panic, but its the moment to prepare".

Puerto Rico Health Secretary Rafael Rodriguez urged all those with serious health conditions, including diabetics, to seek shelter at health facilities, which have generators.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles from the centre, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles, the DDM said.

"Interests along the North Carolina and SC coasts should monitor the progress of this system during the next several days", the hurricane center says.

Maximum sustained winds are near 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) with higher gusts.

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