Beryl becomes first named Atlantic hurricane of 2018

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A hurricane watch was in effect for the island of Dominica Friday afternoon (July 6) as Hurricane Beryl made its way west toward the Caribbean at 15 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center reported. "Rapid changes in intensity, both up and down, that are hard to predict are possible during the next couple days".

No watches or warnings are in effect at this point in time. Earlier, forecasters said the storm was likely to fizzle before becoming a threat to land.

While some strengthening is predicted today, the NHC expects Beryl to quickly weaken by late Saturday and to become a tropical storm or strong open trough late Sunday or Monday. "The hurricane center cautioned those along the coast in North and SC to continue to monitor the system, which has an 80 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression over the next few days", Alabama.com reported on July 6. Hurricane force winds only extend out from the center by 10 miles. A faster west-northwestward motion is expected through the weekend.

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Maximum sustained winds are near 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) with higher gusts.

Beryl has strengthened into a hurricane overnight!

"Just make sure your general hurricane season preparations are complete", said WLOX First Alert Meteorologist Wesley Williams on Friday. Current forecast take it into the Lesser Antilles by this weekend and along the Florida coast by next week.

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The front will then stall over the region on Sunday producing more scattered showers and storms on and off throughout the day.

A National Hurricane Center image shows the projected path of Hurricane Beryl, as of early June 6, 2018. After that, it will track through the northern Caribbean and head towards Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

It dumped heavy rain on the southeastern United States.

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