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

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

Tropical Storm Chris strengthened into a tropical storm Sunday morning and is expected to increase rip currents this week along the Grand Strand, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington.

"Even though Beryl is expected to dissipate just east of the Lesser Antilles early next week, the remnant tropical wave will continue moving quickly westward and will likely bring locally heavy rains and gusty winds to portions of the Leeward Islands on Sunday and Monday", he wrote.

The system may not degenerate until it reaches the vicinity of Hispaniola and the central Caribbean Sea.

However, forecasters with the National Hurricane Center said another low-pressure system a few hundred miles southeast of North Carolina may develop into a tropical depression and move slowly or stall over the weekend. Maximum sustained winds are 45 miles per hour (75 km/h) with higher gusts.

"Most of the guidance suggests that the tropical-storm-force winds associated with the cyclone will occur in the eastern quadrant well away from the US coast".

To the north, a tropical depression was in the Atlantic well off the North Carolina coast, and forecasters said there were no coastal watches or warnings in effect. How these factors come into balance will be crucial in determining how strong Beryl is when it moves through the Lesser Antilles Sunday afternoon into Sunday night.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect for Dominica and Guadeloupe, while a tropical storm watch was issued for Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, St. Martin, and St. Barthelemy, Saba and St. Eustatius and St. Maarten.

A potential impact on Puerto Rico, still recovering after Maria's devastation, remained unclear.

The Caribbean island of Dominica, ravaged by the deadly passage of Hurricane Maria previous year, was again under a hurricane watch Friday as the first such storm of the 2018 Atlantic season moved toward the Lesser Antilles.

Meteorologist Marshall Alexander told The Associated Press that officials were anxious about people still living with tarps on their roofs after Hurricane Maria. Additional strengthening possible before it runs into a wall of dry air and shear ahead.

Gabriel Rivera-Cruz, a resident of San Juan, went to the same Costco on Thursday night with his family and was surprised to see long lines of people already there.

Officials said they will open 424 shelters across Puerto Rico as a preventive measure and urged people to monitor the storm's progress.

At 11 p.m. Thursday, the system had sustained winds of about 65 miles per hour, according to the center's forecast. The area of low pressure located midway between the southeastern United States and Bermuda has become sufficiently organized as to be officially declared Tropical Storm Chris.

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