A system in the Atlantic has quickly developed into the second tropical storm of the 2018 hurricane season.
The National Hurricane Center said in an update at 11:00 am on Thursday that the tropical depression is generally travelling in a westward direction, but is expected to dissipate east of the Lesser Antilles over the weekend. Beryl is now a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour. Tiny (now) Tropical Storm Beryl defied the odds and unexpectedly strengthened (briefly) into a hurricane despite a rather hostile environment of cooler than normal waters, dry air, and Saharan dust. In fact, this system will likely lose its designation in about three days - before it even reaches the Lesser Antilles islands. Tropical storm watches were in place in Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Saba and St. Eustatius, according to the hurricane center. A second system a few hundred miles southwest of Bermuda remained disorganized Thursday morning, but forecasters said it could strengthen as it moves east, away from the US coast.
Right now, the National Hurricane Center is not tracking any tropical depressions or storms. The storm had been moving at 14 miles per hour for most of the day. The expectations for movement and future weakening near the Lesser Antilles have not fundamentally changed from earlier in the day. The NOAA forecast also said about half of the 10 to 16 named storms will be hurricane strength. Maximum winds are 35 miles per hour as it spins over the central Atlantic.
For the first time since the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, your First Alert Weather Team is tracking a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean: Beryl. A center of circulation was found at the surface Thursday morning and Invest 95-L was upgraded to Tropical Depression Two. Now it's July and we could have our next named storm.