Storm Strengthening To Hurricane Off Carolinas As Puerto Rico Faces Storm Beryl

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Tropical Storm Beryl has increased in speed but not in strength, and is expected to pass "a safe distance" south of the British Virgin Islands when the territory begins to experience storm conditions later today into Monday, July 9.

Barbadians can breathe a sigh of relief, as the island is no longer under Tropical Storm Watch. At 11 a.m. EDT, the storm's center was located about 160 miles (260 kilometers) south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center will still be watching this area of showers and thunderstorms as there is a 30% it could redevelop into a tropical system once it moves over the warmer waters near the Bahamas and the upper level wind shear relaxes later this week. The storm is forecast to intensify into a hurricane over the next several days but remain off the coast before zipping off toward Newfoundland late in the week.

A Category 1 hurricane has wind speeds from 74 miles per hour to 95 miles per hour, according to the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHS). The storm poses no threat to land, but forecasters expect it to become a hurricane on Monday.

Tropical Storm Beryl, downgraded from a category one hurricane, remains on a slow course towards the Lesser Antilles.

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Through Tuesday, Beryl is forecast to dump two to three inches of rain on the Leeward Islands, which separate the northeastern Caribbean Sea from the western Atlantic Ocean and include Guadeloupe and Dominica.

Chris was upgraded from a tropical depression to a tropical storm on Sunday.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the centre but forecasters anticipate Beryl to gradually weaken during the next 36 hours.

Rains of up to five inches are possible in the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico through Tuesday, according to the NHC.

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