Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Research | By Dana Schwartz

Caribbean islands brace for weakened but unsafe Tropical Storm Beryl

Caribbean islands brace for weakened but unsafe Tropical Storm Beryl

Tropical Storm Chris is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane by Monday night, bringing unsafe rip currents and high surf off the coasts of North Carolina to Maine.

The storm is now 200 miles south southeast of Cape Hatteras with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.

"Swells generated by Chris are expected to increase and affect portions of the coasts of North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic states into early next week", the NHC said, adding that some of the resulting conditions could be life-threatening.

The compact tropical cyclone had sustained winds of 60 miles per hour as of the 5 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, and was moving south at a sloth-like 1 miles per hour.

As of 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT), the storm was about 215 miles (350 km) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

The remnants of the storm Beryl brought heavy rain and wind to Puerto Rico, creating flash-flood conditions on the island and exacerbating power outage issues that have remained since last year's devastating hurricane season.

But the U.S. National Hurricane Center says the remnants still could bring 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 centimeters) of rain pounding down on homes still damaged by September's Hurricane Maria. The area is also expected to experience gusty winds.

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"An outlying scenario is that the push of cooler air is not as strong and the storm fails to get steered off to the northeast".

"Other than some impacts at the beaches, there are no direct impacts expected for the MYR and Grand Strand areas if Chris does become a hurricane", said Steve Pfaff with the Wilmington National Weather Service.

He said he was surprised that Hurricane Beryl formed so early in the season, even if it did lose strength en route to the Caribbean.

Tropical Storm Beryl has picked up speed in movement, but not winds, according to Sunday's 11 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

Through Tuesday, Beryl is forecast to dump two to three inches of rain on the Leeward Islands, which separate the northeastern Caribbean Sea from the western Atlantic Ocean and include Guadeloupe and Dominica.

The NHC has given the remnants of Beryl a 40% chance of development in the next five days.

"We are in a vulnerable state", he said.

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