Tropical Storm Chris strengthening, Tropical Storm Beryl moving towards the Caribbean

Beryl becomes the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Beryl becomes the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Beryl became the first hurricane of the Atlantic season Friday as the storm made its way to the Lesser Antilles, the National Hurricane Center said.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Dominica and a tropical storm watch is in effect for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.

Beryl is now a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour.

'Beryl is forecast to quickly weaken by late Saturday and become a tropical storm or degenerate into a strong open trough near the Lesser Antilles late Sunday or Monday. "The hurricane center cautioned those along the coast in North and SC to continue to monitor the system, which has an 80 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression over the next few days", Alabama.com reported on July 6.

What's left of Beryl will track south of Puerto Rico on Monday and be near the coastline of the Dominican Republic on Tuesday morning.

Elsewhere in the tropical Atlantic, Beryl - once a hurricane - has weakened substantially on approach to the Lesser Antilles.

Forecasters there said those along the North Carolina coast should keep an eye on Chris.

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The Miami-based National Hurricane Center's forecast put the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in the probable path of the storm.

As of 11 a.m. Sunday, Chris had maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour.

As the third named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, Chris developed more than a month ahead of normal.

The system is moving toward the west-northwest (295 degrees) near 17 miles per hour or 28 km/h.

The National Hurricane Center is giving this system an 80 percent chance for development through the weekend. Tropical storm strength winds can be expected in the watch and warning areas late Sunday through Monday morning and total rain accumulations of 1 to 3 inches through Monday. Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in September, remained under a state of emergency.

Meantime, forecasters are also keeping an eye on a weather system off the coast of North Carolina that could turn into a tropical depression over the weekend.

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