Hurricane Beryl bearing down on Lesser Antilles

Beryl becomes the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Beryl becomes the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Overnight, Tropical Storm Beryl intensified into a Category 1 hurricane - the first Atlantic hurricane of the 2018 season, according to hurricane center officials. Hurricane Beryl, now southeast of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean, is considered a small storm, creating some uncertainty about the analysis, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

The hurricane gained strength Friday morning and was a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of almost 80 miles per hour (130 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center. The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said a faster westward to west-northwestward motion is expected to begin over the weekend and continue through early next week. Then the weather conditions will deteriorate from Sunday into Monday as the storm gets closer to St. Kitts and Nevis. Satellite data indicate maximum sustained winds of around 80 miles per hour with higher gusts, and some strengthening is forecast. THREE: The forecast from the National Hurricane Center calls for gradual strengthening to Tropical Storm status by Saturday with continued strengthening through Monday. With the storm tracking a bit more to the south than expected, the NHC slightly shifted the cone away from the island, but that could change over the next few days. It is not common to see tropical cyclones forming in water colder than 26C on average, and a lot of them form further north. It is expected to pass near Dominica and the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique late Sunday or Monday.

Beryl could become a hurricane by today, Friday or Saturday. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles.

The National Hurricane Centre said Beryl "is still forecast to weaken or dissipate as a tropical cyclone before reaching the Lesser Antilles".

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Beryl is the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

As of Friday afternoon, the storm reached 80 miles per hour winds and is expected to hit islands in the Carribean.

Hurricane Beryl will lose strength as it moves into the Caribbean.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and peaks from mid-August to late-October.

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