Hurricane Beryl Prompts Watches for Lesser Antilles, TD 3 Forms Southeast of Carolinas

The potential approach of Hurricane Beryl prompted the issuance of Watches for some of the Lesser Antilles on Friday afternoon, while at the same time Tropical Depression Three formed southeast of the Carolinas.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Beryl was located at latitude 10.6°N and longitude 47.8°W which put it about 965 miles (1555 km) east-southeast of the Leeward Islands.  Beryl was moving toward the west at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 95 m.p.h. (155 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 994 mb.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued for Dominica.  Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.

The circulation of Hurricane Beryl remains very small.  The pinhole is no longer visible on satellite imagery, although strong thunderstorms continue to develop near the center of circulation.  Short narrow bands or showers and thunderstorms are revolving around the core of Hurricane Beryl.  Winds to hurricane force only extend out about 10 miles (15 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 40 miles (65 km) from the center.

Hurricane Beryl will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Beryl will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  It is moving south of an upper level ridge.  The ridge is producing easterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  However, the wind speeds are similar at all levels and there is currently little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Beryl could intensify on Saturday, but the circulation is so small that any increase in wind shear could cause rapid weakening.

The subtropical ridge over the Atlantic Ocean is north of Hurricane Beryl and the ridge has been steering Beryl toward the west.  A motion more toward the west-northwest is forecast during the weekend.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Beryl will approach the Lesser Antilles later on Sunday.  That is the reason why the Watches were issued for some of those islands.  Beryl could still be a hurricane when it gets to the Lesser Antilles, but there is a lot of uncertainty about the intensity forecast because the hurricane is so small.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, the National Hurricane Center designated an area of low pressure southeast of the coast of the Carolinas as Tropical Depression Three.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Depression Three was located at latitude 32.2°N and longitude 73.8°W which put it about 230 miles (370 km) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  It was moving toward the north-northwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1016 mb.  Tropical Depression Three is forecast to meander off the coast of the Carolinas during the weekend.  It could strengthen into a tropical storm and there is a chance it could intensify into a hurricane next week.