Now into the second month of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season, the tropical Atlantic is showing signs of activity. The second named storm of the season, Beryl, grew to a hurricane; however, this morning the National Hurricane Center noticed weakening and downgraded it back to Tropical Storm status. Meanwhile, Tropical Depression #3 located off of the U.S. East Coast is expected to grow in the coming hours, becoming Tropical Storm Chris today and eventually Hurricane Chris in the coming days.
Even as it strengthens to a hurricane, Chris is not forecast to directly impact the United States over the next week. Instead, it will parallel the course, perhaps setting the stage for a collision with the Canadian Maritimes. As it moves up the East Coast, rough surf, large waves and swells, beach erosion, and dangerous rip currents are possible from the Carolinas north to Maine.
While the system to be named Chris picks up steam, Beryl, a tiny storm to begin with, is losing steam. Tropical storm force winds only extend outwards up to 35 miles from the center; minimum central pressure is 999mb or 29.50″.
Meanwhile, the changing shape and strength of Beryl has led to different advisories being issued. The government of Barbados has issued a Tropical Storm Warning and discontinued the Hurricane Watch for Dominica. The government of the Netherlands has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Saba and St. Eustatius. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area. Interests elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of Beryl, as additional watches or warnings could be required later today.
On the current National Hurricane Center forecast track, the center of Beryl will approach the Lesser Antilles over the weekend, cross the island chain late Sunday or Monday, and move south of the Virgin
Islands and Puerto Rico on Monday and Monday night. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 65 mph with higher gusts. Additional weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, especially once Beryl reaches the eastern Caribbean Sea on Monday. The system could degenerate into an open trough by the time it reaches the central Caribbean Sea and Hispaniola on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, people up and down the entire East Coast and Gulf Coast should make sure they have a Hurricane Action Plan. The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season runs through to the end of November.