Caribbean islands issue watches for Hurricane Beryl

At 11pm on July 5 Tropical Storm Beryl was located near latitude 10.4 North longitude 44.0 West

Tropical Storm Beryl, downgraded from a category one hurricane, remains on a slow course towards the Caribbean.

"Upper-level winds will become hostile before Beryl approaches the Lesser Antilles this weekend".

"It is possible that we could have hurricane watches up for some of those islands by tonight", said Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello declared a state of emergency for the island that is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria past year. It had maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 kph) and was moving west at 14 miles per hour (22 kph).

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At 5:00 p.m. today, center of Tropical Storm Beryl is located near latitude 12.7 north, longitude 52.7 west or 565 miles or 900 km east southeast of Saint Lucia.

Maximum sustained winds have reached 75 miles per hour with higher gusts.

The hurricane center noted early Sunday that many forecast models have shifted the path for Chris south and westward. "The forecast could change for the better or worse".

Tropical Storm Beryl is gradually weakening and is forecast to degenerate into a trough of low pressure as it moves across the eastern Caribbean Sea on Monday.

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On Monday, the centre may pass just south of Puerto Rico.

Beryl is the easternmost hurricane to form from an African wave in July on record, according to University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy. He recently noted that some 60,000 people still have only tarps for roofs. She said workmen had fortified the roofs on all seven cottages that survived Hurricane Maria. Neither has Puerto Rico, where hundreds are still living under makeshift roofs and more than 1,000 customers remain without power more than nine months after the storm.

"This will not impact Florida, but it could affect the Carolinas", Bridges said.

According to Moss, Chris appears to be strengthening, and it wouldn't be a surprise for it to become a hurricane by late Monday or Tuesday - but that doesn't necessarily mean the coast will be severely impacted.

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