Tropical Storm Beryl gathered strength, and early on Friday morning it was declared the first hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season. While there is currently little indication Beryl will become a dangerous storm, the National Hurricane Center warned that, "due to its small size," it will remain very difficult to predict.
Beryl has become a hurricane before continuing on a westward path into an environment of much stronger vertical wind shear on Saturday, which should weaken the storm system and allow it to slowly degenerate again into a tropical storm as it heads toward Puerto Rico early next week.
"Due to its very small size, there is greater-than-usual uncertainty in the analysis of Beryl's current intensity. Confidence in the official intensity forecast is also much lower than normal," the National Hurricane Center warned early Friday. "Rapid changes in intensity, both up and down, that are difficult to predict are possible during the next couple days."
Regardless of development or strength, Beryl can bring squally showers and thunderstorms to the Lesser Antilles on Sunday and Sunday night with the potential for 1-2 inches of rainfall with locally up to 3 inches possible. Some minor wind damage may also occur with squally thunderstorms Sunday and Sunday night.
We also continue to monitor an area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms located a few hundred miles to the southwest of Bermuda. Some development of this feature is possible as the storm moves through a low shear environment. This area of showers and thunderstorms will not directly impact land before it is absorbed by an approaching cold front on Sunday.