Weather update: Tropical Storm Chris; Beryl less organized


The tropical depression that spent Saturday meandering off the Carolina coast has now become Tropical Storm Chris.

At 5 a.m., the center of Tropical Storm Chris was located by an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft near latitude 33.0 North, longitude 75.5 West.

Chris is forecast to remain off the coast of the Carolinas for the next several days. An acceleration toward the northeast is expected to begin on Tuesday.

Data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast, and Chris is expected to become a hurricane by mid-week. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure from reconnaissance data is 1010 mb (29.83 inches).

Swells generated by the depression are expected to increase and affect portions of the coasts of North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic states into early next week.  These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Tropical Storm Beryl more disorganized

Meanwhile, Beryl, which was downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm Saturday morning, continued to weaken

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Dominica and Guadaloupe. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, St. Martin, and St. Barthelemy, Saba and St. Eustatius and St. Maarten.

At 8 a.m., the poorly defined center of Tropical Storm Beryl was located near latitude 14.0 North, longitude 56.8 West. Beryl is moving toward the west-northwest near 20 mph, and this motion with an increase in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days.

On the forecast track, the center of Beryl or its remnants will approach the Lesser Antilles today, cross the island chain tonight, and move near or south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Monday. Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts.

Gradual weakening is anticipated during the next 48 hours, and Beryl is forecast to degenerate into a trough of low pressure as it moves across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea by Monday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb (29.74 inches).

Live 5 Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh said Beryl is not going to affect the weekend, and looks like, at this point, not a factor for the Lowcountry's future.

"It looks like it's going to eventually run into some trouble when it approaches the Windward Islands where some wind shear will weaken the storm," Walsh said. 

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A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area.

Beryl's upgrade to a Category 1 storm made it the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season. 

Storms named Beryl have made landfall in the United States three different times over the years, in 1988, 1994 and 2012.

"The tropics have become increasingly active as we've flipped the calendar over to July," Meteorologist Joey Sovine said.

The first tropical storm of the season, Alberto, formed on May 25 on the edge of the Yucatan Peninsula on the western end of the Caribbean. The system made landfall in the Gulf but its remnants created downpours over the Memorial Day weekend.

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