Hurricane Beryl bearing down on Lesser Antilles

Hurricane Beryl bearing down on Lesser Antilles

Elsewhere in the tropical Atlantic, Beryl - once a hurricane - has weakened substantially on approach to the Lesser Antilles. The storm is now stationary, with winds expected up to 40 miles an hour as of Sunday morning. Currently, Beryl has maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (75 km/h) and is moving WNW or 290 degrees at 20 miles per hour (31 km/h) with a minimum central pressure of 1005 mb (29.68 inches).

Earlier, the hurricane center had described the storm as "Tiny Beryl" because of "its very small size".

A faster west-northwestward motion is expected through the weekend. "On the forecast track, the center of Hurricane Beryl will approach the Lesser Antilles over the weekend and cross the island chain late Sunday or Monday".

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Chris is forecast to become a hurricane on Monday.

Beryl could get even stronger over the next day or so, then weaken to a tropical storm or even a trough by the time it reaches Hispaniola, where impact with land and unfavorable conditions should destroy it.

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Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for Dominica as they are in line to receive the direct hit from this weak tropical storm late Sunday evening.

"With Dominica now under a tropical storm warning, I journeyed East to visit the designated shelters in some of the country's most vulnerable communities".

The government of Barbados has issued a Tropical Storm Warning and discontinued the Hurricane Watch for Dominica.

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

Maximum sustained winds are near 75 miles per hour (120 km/h) with higher gusts.

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- Regardless, areas of locally heavy rain and gusty winds are possible as far west as Hispañola.

National Weather Service meteorologist Carlos Anselmi told the AP that 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimetres) of rain was expected across Puerto Rico, with double that in isolated areas.

The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, spared Bermuda past year, but battered the Caribbean as well as the United States.

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.

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