Tropical Storm Chris forms off North Carolina; Beryl forecast to weaken

Hurricane Beryl could hit parts of the Caribbean

The third tropical system of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season became a tropical storm early Sunday morning after initially forming as a tropical depression Friday afternoon.

Beryl is now expected to pass near Dominica and the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique early Monday as a tropical wave and then continue south of Puerto Rico.

A tropical storm watch remains in effect as Beryl churns some 240 miles or 380 kilometres east of Barbados.

Because the storm is so small - hurricane force winds extend just 10 miles from the storm's center - forecasters said it's too soon to tell what islands may get hit.

"On the forecast track, the center of Beryl will approach the Lesser Antilles today, cross the island chain tonight, and move south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Monday".

Earlier, the NHC described the storm as "Tiny Beryl" because of "its very small size".

It is forecast to drift towards the North Carolina coast and stall.

Storm conditions with wind-speeds between 39 mph and 73 mph (63 to 117 km/h) are possible within the watch area within the next 12 hours.

According to Moss, Chris appears to be strengthening, and it wouldn't be a surprise for it to become a hurricane by late Monday or Tuesday - but that doesn't necessarily mean the coast will be severely impacted. Deeper into the Caribbean, a state of emergency was declared in Puerto Rico, which Maria also pounded.

Beryl is moving toward the west-northwest near 20 miles per hour (31 km/h), and this motion with an increase in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days.

The National Weather Service described the center as "poorly defined".

It said additional intensification could occur by the end of the forecast period when the cyclone moves northeastward away from the United States coast and interacts with a mid-level trough. Weakening is expected once Beryl reaches the eastern Caribbean Sea on Monday July 09.

While the storm is expected to dissipate as it nears the southern Caribbean islands, rain and winds are expects.

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