Tropical depression forms in the Atlantic

New predictions for hurricanes, storms in the Caribbean this season

The storm is forecast to strengthen in coming days and could become a tropical storm Saturday night or Sunday, the hurricane center said Saturday morning.

"The estimated minimum central pressure is 1009 mb [29.80 inches]".

Subtropical Storm Alberto formed in late May and made landfall in Laguna Beach, near Panama City, just before the official June 1 start of hurricane season. That change of status was expected to happen.

In May, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters predicted that the Atlantic would produce more storms than normal during the coming season. A hurricane watch is in effect for Dominica and a tropical storm watch is in effect for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.

Tropical Storm Beryl is about 1,000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and was moving west late Thursday afternoon at 16 mph. A gradual west-northwest movement is expected over the next several days.

However, upper-level winds are expected to become less conducive for development by the weekend, when the system approaches the Lesser Antilles.

The NHC said, "Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50 miles per hour [85 km/h] with higher gusts". These shearing winds should weaken this system as it is reaching the Lesser Antilles.

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IN THE TROPICS: Hurricane Beryl will churn through the open waters of the tropical Atlantic Ocean into this weekend.

Hurricane-force winds extend only 10 miles from the center, making the storm extraordinarily compact.

On May 31, Klotzbach was predicting a total of 14 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes - category 3 or stronger.

There is no indication the depression will form into a hurricane, much less strike Florida or Indian River County, according to forecasters.

Meteorologist Domenica Davis said the first storm closer to the east side of the Atlantic has 40 percent of developing into a tropical cyclon.

In the Tropics early on this 4th of July, there is some activity we're watching on both sides of the Lower 48.


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