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NHC: ‘Tiny’ Hurricane Beryl Is Barreling Towards Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico

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MIAMI — Hurricane Beryl became the first hurricane of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season this morning after gaining strength overnight.

The path of the relatively tiny Hurricane Beryl is currently tracking westwards through the Atlantic in the general direction of Puerto Rico.

The National Hurricane Center said today that Beryl “is still forecast to weaken or dissipate as a tropical cyclone before reaching the Lesser Antilles,” and that wind and rain could be expected on those islands in the coming days.

However, the NHC is warning that changes to Beryl’s intensity will be “difficult to predict” due to its small size.

“Confidence in the official intensity forecast is also much lower than normal,” the Center warned. “Rapid changes in intensity, both up and down, that are difficult to predict are possible during the next couple days.”

The first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, subtropical storm Alberto, failed to reach hurricane status. But it still led to several fatalities and approximately $50 million in damage.

The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico were devastated by intense storms during last year’s hurricane season, which officially lasts from June 1 until November 30.

Some experts have raised concerns that climate change might be generating stronger hurricanes, while climate scientists have warned the 2018 hurricane season could be worse than usual.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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