Tropical Storm Beryl in Atlantic; 2nd named storm of season

Subtropical Storm Alberto came ashore on the Florida Panhandle in late May. Despite this early season activity some forecasters are expecting the rest of the season to be below average

Forecasters reverse course, predict below-average 2018 hurricane season

NOAA's National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida issued a Tropical Weather Outlook Update at 5 p.m. EDT on Thursday, July 5, 2018, after Tropical Depression Two strengthened into Tropical Storm Beryl over the tropical Atlantic Ocean.

"The system is expected to begin encountering strong westerly shear and also accelerate, both of which should cause it to degenerate into an open wave east of the Lesser Antilles", a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center told Sebastian Daily.

The more significant of the two disturbances was upgraded to a tropical depression at 11 a.m. and now forecast to become a Tropical Storm Beryl with maximum sustained winds of around 40 mph in the next 24 hours. The storm could gain tropical storm strength, in which case it would be named Beryl. Upper level winds ahead the system are likely to weaken it before it reaches the Leeward or Windward Islands late this weekend.

A team of meteorologists, who predicted an above-average 2018 Atlantic hurricane season in April, decreased their forecast on Tuesday.

The hurricane center didn't think so as of Thursday morning. Storm force winds extend just 35 miles from Beryl's center.

Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...40 percent.

Forecasters said the depression is located south of sprawling subtropical ridge.

It is a long way from the United States and isn't expected to be a threat. The probability of direct hit on the US coast from a major hurricane - classified as a Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale - is down to 39 percent from 63 percent.

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