Hurricane Beryl loses some strength, now with 75 miles per hour winds

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Hurricane Beryl continued churning across the Atlantic Friday night with little change in its course or strength, according to the National Hurricane Center.

NHC forecasters said because Beryl is very small in size, there is a greater-than-usual uncertainty in the analysis of the storm's intensity.

Hurricane Beryl became the first hurricane of this year's Atlantic hurricane season Friday morning after gaining strength overnight. As Beryl approaches the Lesser Antilles by late this weekend, it should feel the influence of the shear over the eastern Caribbean (see Fig. 6) and weakening back into a tropical storm looks likely.

Beryl's impacts will begin to reach the Lesser Antilles late Sunday or Monday.

Maximum sustained winds were 75 miles per hour or 120 kilometres per hour. THREE: The forecast from the National Hurricane Center calls for gradual strengthening to Tropical Storm status by Saturday with continued strengthening through Monday.

Forecasters said the storm is expected to dump heavy rain across islands including Dominica and Puerto Rico, which could also be hit with winds of more than to 40 miles per hour (64 kph) and flooding.

Current computer modeling projects the system will slowly drift northward while making a circle well off the North Carolina coast.

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- Regardless, areas of locally heavy rain and gusty winds are possible as far west as Hispañola.

Forecasters said the storm probably would dissipate once it moved south of Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Beryl has been downgraded to a tropical storm at 11 a.m., according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Beryl appears a little less organized than earlier, but the agency warned a turn toward the west-northwest and an increase in forward speed should occur in the next 12 to 24 hours.

Meanwhile, a tropical depression formed in the Atlantic well off the North Carolina coast, but forecasters said it wasnt expected to pose any threat to land.

In fact, it's only one of two such hurricanes to form this early in the season east of the Lesser Antilles. The new numbers released by CSU now shown a total of 14 named storms (average 12), 6 hurricanes (average 6.5) and 2 major hurricanes category 3 or stronger (average 2).

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