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Caribbean:”tiny” Hurricane Beryl

Hurricane Beryl, a tiny storm over the south-central Atlantic, is projected to take a path over the northern Caribbean.

As of Friday morning, Beryl was moving westward at about 14 mph (23 km/h) and had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h). These winds extended outward from the center by a mere 10 miles (16 km).

In the short-term, some increase in strength and size of Beryl is likely.
By Sunday night, Beryl will enter a zone of conditions that are likely to inhibit its development.

“Because of the small size of Beryl and anticipated weakening, widespread wind damage is not expected,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Jake Sojda.

However, there will be some risk to lives and property along the storm’s path. People should take precautions.

“Beryl, the second tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, and the first classified as a hurricane is heading toward the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and will approach Puerto Rico on Monday. If Beryl makes landfall in Puerto Rico it will be around Monday afternoon, and it will continue to impact the island into Monday night,” said Dr. Joel Myers, founder, president and chairman of AccuWeather. “While the storm is expected to weaken by the time it reaches Puerto Rico and probably will not be a hurricane, but a weak tropical storm, it still will carry significant moisture, resulting in general rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches which is not a heavy amount. However, there is likely to be local spots that get up to 6 inches of rain, which could cause local flooding.”

“As we know, Puerto Rico was hard hit last year by Hurricanes Irma and then Maria, and the island is still recovering,” Myers added. “Again, this amount of rain is significant because the infrastructure of Puerto Rico was so damaged last year. Any heavy rainfall is capable of causing flash flooding. This is particularly true in the places that get heavy downpours, particularly low lying and poor drainage areas, and heavy rain, of course, can always trigger dangerous mudslides. Residents of these areas should take precautions to stay safe and out of harm’s way.”
Steering winds will guide Beryl, most likely in a weakened state, on a slightly north of west path later this weekend into next week.

This path may take Beryl close to the northern Leeward Islands on Sunday and near the Virgin Islands during Sunday night and Puerto Rico Monday.

Trees that have been trimmed and utility lines and structures that have been properly repaired in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria from 2017 should fair well. However, lines and property repairs that have been jury-rigged could fail and lead to power outages and other dangers.

“Rainfall from Beryl will be the primary concern from the northern Leeward Islands to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico,” Sojda said.