Hurricane season 2018: TWO storms threaten Caribbean east coast with tropical cyclones

New predictions for hurricanes, storms in the Caribbean this season

Meteorologists at National Hurricane Center have upgraded a mid-Atlantic tropical depression to Tropical Storm Beryl, calling the storm's rapid development a surprise.

Tropical Storm Beryl is about 1,000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and was moving west late Thursday afternoon at 16 mph.

Maximum sustained winds for Tropical Storm Beryl were lowered to 60 miles per hour - from its peak at 75 miles per hour - as the storm continued on a west-northwest direction.

On Saturday, Beryl will enter into an environment of much stronger vertical wind shear, which should weaken the storm system and allow it to degenerate into a tropical wave before reaching the Lesser Antilles.

Beryl is now expected to pass near Dominica and the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique early Monday as a tropical wave and then continue south of Puerto Rico.

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A tropical depression off the North Carolina coast is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm by Sunday, but is expected to move north and away from the Carolinas. A fast westward to west-northwestward motion is expected through the weekend. It made landfall on the Florida Panhandle as a subtropical storm and ushered drenching rains across states in the South and Midwest.

"Due to its very small size, there is greater-than-usual uncertainty in the analysis of Beryl's current intensity, and confidence in the official intensity forecast is also lower than normal", the NHC said. Dominica was hit by Hurricane Maria a year ago as a Category 5 storm and hasn't fully recovered. The storm had been moving at 14 miles per hour for most of the day.

A tropical depression has formed west of Bermuda as Hurricane Beryl continues its path towards the Caribbean.

Beryl trails only 1933 for the earliest forming hurricane over the open tropical Atlantic.

Still, the storm is expected to impact some islands in the Caribbean even if it doesn't directly pass over them. But that has been revised to 11 named storms, 2 hurricanes and only 1 major storm for all of 2017.

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