Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Research | By Sheri Schwartz

Puerto Rico braces for heavy wind, rain as Hurricane Beryl approaches

Puerto Rico braces for heavy wind, rain as Hurricane Beryl approaches

Hurricane Beryl reached its peak intensity and weakened back to a tropical storm prior to moving across the Lesser Antilles and approaching Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Beryl is churning in the Atlantic on Saturday morning and taking aim at the small islands that make up the eastern Caribbean.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Beryl's maximum sustained winds remained 45 miles per hour (75 kph) early Sunday.

A faster west-northwestward motion is expected through the weekend.

Interests elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles should continue to monitor the progress of Beryl, as additional watches could be required for other islands later today. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Dominica and Guadeloupe and a tropical storm watch is in effect for Barbados, Martinique, St. Martin, St. Maarten, St. Barthelemy, Saba and St. Eustatius. Dominica was hit by Hurricane Maria previous year as a Category 5 storm and hasn't fully recovered. As of Friday night, no watches or warnings have been issued.

Farther out in the tropics Beryl continues to gradually weaken with winds now down to 50 miles per hour with gusts up to 60mph.

The storm was forecast to weaken into a depression Monday by the time it reaches seas just south of Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in September, but that island remained under a state of emergency.

Beryl is expected to produce total rain of 2 to 3 inches through Tuesday across the Leeward and the Virgin Islands, as well as Puerto Rico.

And yet, Berg said the conditions ahead of Beryl could allow it to strengthen a bit over the next few days as it heads for the island chain extending from the Virgin Islands to Grenada.

"At 11am, Hurricane Beryl was located near latitude 10.7 degrees north and longitude 46.5 degrees west or about 913 miles east south-east of Dominica".

A turn to the northwest and then north is expected to begin by Tuesday night taking the system across the Bahamas and the adjacent Atlantic waters. However, some pockets of moderate to heavy showers and occasional gusty winds are possible.

The islands suffered billions of dollars' worth of damage and some fatalities when hurricanes Irma and Maria struck a year ago.

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