NHC says Hurricane Beryl strengthens, approaching…

NHC says Hurricane Beryl strengthens, approaching…

NHC says Hurricane Beryl strengthens, approaching…

The main impacts will be tropical storm force winds across the Lesser Antilles and 1 to 4 inches of rainfall cross the Caribbean Islands. Beryl is moving west at 15 miles per hour (24km/h) with maximum sustained winds are near 80mph or 130km/h.

"By late Tuesday or early Wednesday this storm could attain hurricane status", said the statement, issued Sunday.

The National Hurricane Center has downgraded Beryl to a tropical storm Saturday afternoon.

Swells generated by Chris are expected to increase and affect portions of the coasts of North and SC and the mid-Atlantic states during the next few days.

With that slight jog north in the track for Beryl, the storm will begin to approach the Lesser Antilles late Sunday, and should be west of the islands by sometime Monday.

- Tropical storm warning and watches are in effect in parts of the Lesser Antilles.

Tropical storm watches are in effect for Martinique, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten. There are no coastal watches or warnings.

Skerrit also visited some of the most vulnerable areas on the island, pledging to issue whatever help possible in the event of any damages.

The storm's trajectory remains uncertain and no coastal warnings are now in effect, but forecasters urge those along the coast of North Carolina to stay alert. "As a result, the new NHC intensity forecast calls for little change in strength during the next 24-36 [hours], but predicts steady weakening after that time".

The GOES-East satellite photo shows Hurricane Beryl toward the lower right.

At 5 p.m. EDT, the storm was centered about 230 miles (370.13 kilometers) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph (48 kph). Tropical storm-force winds by Saturday evening extended as far as 45 miles from the storm's center.

Forecasters warned that the US territory could see between 15 to 25 miles per hour (25 to 40 kph) winds, as well as heavy rains that could cause flooding and mudslides.

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

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