Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico No Longer in Hurricane Beryl's 'Cone of Uncertainty'

Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico No Longer in Hurricane Beryl’s ‘Cone of Uncertainty’

Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico No Longer in Hurricane Beryl's 'Cone of Uncertainty'

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MIAMI — Hurricane Beryl lost some strength overnight but is still packing maximum-sustained winds of 75 mph as it moves towards the Caribbean.

In its 8 a.m. update, the National Hurricane Center said Beryl was located about 780 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles and still moving west-northwest at 14 mph.

A hurricane watch remains in effect for Dominica. Tropical storm watches are in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy. Additional watches for other islands could be issued today, the hurricane center said.

Beryl continues to be a rather small storm, with hurricane-force winds extending out 10 miles from its center and tropical-storm-force winds extending out 35 miles.

Forecasters said Beryl appears to have lost some of its organization from Friday afternoon, and they have lowered any expected strengthening. It is expected to remain at 75 mph through the next 24 hours, and they still believe it will dissipate after it passes Hispaniola on Tuesday.

“Beryl is expected to remain in a light vertical wind shear environment today, but an increase in westerly shear is expected on Sunday, and the shear is forecast to become quite strong as Beryl moves over the eastern Caribbean early next week,” the hurricane center said. “As a result, the new NHC intensity forecast calls for little change in strength during the next 24-36 [hours], but predicts steady weakening after that time.”

Still, the storm is expected to impact some islands in the Caribbean even if it doesn’t directly pass over them.

“Beryl is forecast to be near hurricane strength when it approaches the Lesser Antilles Sunday night or Monday, and the chance of some islands receiving direct impacts from wind and rainfall continue to increase,” NHC forecasters said.

The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are almost entirely outside the cone of uncertainty, but residents here — still recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year — are keeping a wary eye on the storm.

“We are all monitoring changes as Hurricane Beryl treks this way but those of us that still have hurricane-damaged homes and blue roofs are paying closer attention,” said St. Croix Senator Novelle Francis Jr. on Facebook.