Eastern C’bean keeps close watch on Hurricane Beryl

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Hurricane Beryl heading towards the Islands (photo: Orlando Sentinel)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — A tropical storm watch is now in effect for Barbados, St Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St Martin and Barthelemy and a hurricane watch is in effect for Dominica as Hurricane Beryl continues to approach the Lesser Antilles.

In an advisory issued at 8:00 am (local time) on Saturday, the Miami based National Hurricane Centre says that the storm, while a little less organised, is moving toward the west northwest near 14 miles per hour.

A west- northwestward motion with some increase in forward speed is expected during the next few days and on the forecast track, the centre of Beryl will approach the Lesser Antilles over the weekend and cross the island chain late Sunday or Monday.

Maximum sustained winds are estimated to be near 75 mph with higher gusts, but recent satellite images suggest that Beryl is becoming less organised.

If this trend continues, then Beryl may be downgraded to a tropical storm later Saturday.

The National Hurricane Centre says that due to Beryl’s small size, short-term changes in intensity, up or down, could continue to occur over the next day or two, and Beryl could still be near hurricane strength as it nears the Lesser Antilles.

Weakening is expected once Beryl reaches the eastern Caribbean Sea on Monday, but the system may not degenerate into an open trough until it reaches the vicinity of Hispaniola and the central Caribbean Sea on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Beryl is a small hurricane with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 10 miles from the centre, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles.

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