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The Caribbean island of Dominica, ravaged by the deadly passage of Hurricane Maria a year ago, was again under a hurricane watch Friday as the first such storm of the 2018 Atlantic season moved toward the Lesser Antilles.

Barbados and Dominica have issued tropical storm warnings ahead of the storm. "Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch areas of the Lesser Antilles by later today or Monday", forecasters said, "Strong gusty winds are also possible in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Monday".

Beryl will bring a chance of tropical storm winds to the Lesser Antilles late Sunday and into Monday before moving to the west. It is a very compact hurricane with hurricane-force winds extending out only 10 miles from the center.

Hurricane forecasters say a disorganized band of thunderstorms swirling between Bermuda and the Carolina coast is now getting more organized and is likely to develop into a tropical depression this weekend - and potentially into a tropical storm by early next week.

There are now both a tropical depression and a hurricane spinning in the Atlantic, but for now, neither appears to be a threat to SC of the U.S.

As you can see in the photo above, Beryl is not expected to affect the state of Florida.

The National Hurricane Center upgraded Hurricane Beryl early Friday morning. Maximum sustained winds were at 75 miles per hour with a minimum central pressure of 995 mb.

By Monday the hurricane may hit Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic as a weakened system.

Further strengthening of the storm is likely, and Chris is expected to become a hurricane by mid-week. The storm, which is now a Category 1, is expected to arrive in the Lesser Antilles by late Sunday or early Monday. It was moving west at 15 miles per hour, with sustained winds of 80 miles per hour.

Subtropical Storm Alberto became the first named storm of the 2018 season.

Chris is expected to meander off the Carolina Coast over the next few days, staying over the warm water temperatures of the Gulf Stream. Elsewhere across the northern Leeward and southern Windward Islands, rainfall amounts of 2 inches or less are expected.


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