Tropical Storm Beryl weakens as it moves into Caribbean

New predictions for hurricanes, storms in the Caribbean this season

Weather forecasters say Tropical Storm Chris is likely to strengthen to a hurricane by Monday but will remain well away from the US coast for the next two or three days.

On the forecast track, the center of Beryl will approach the Lesser Antilles through Sunday, cross the island chain Sunday night, and move south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Monday.

Tropical Storm Chris is about 300 miles off the coast offshore of the Grand Strand.

The Weather Channel pointed out that there were only four named storms in 1983, but one of those, Hurricane Alicia, slammed the Houston-Galveston area causing as many direct fatalities as Category 5 Hurricane Andrew did in South Florida in 1992.

Last year, there were 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and six major hurricanes, including Hurricanes Irma and Maria which devastated some parts of the Caribbean. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Dominica and a tropical storm watch is in effect for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.

"While we don't expect a direct hit to take place on Puerto Rico, even some of those outer bands. have the potential to knock out power" on the USA territory, CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said.

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The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Beryl had maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (75 kph) early Sunday.

But since then the anomalously cooler tropical Atlantic has come into focus, with Klotzbach himself saying that "Prospects for a second straight busy hurricane season have diminished markedly" as a result of the cooler than normal seas.

Earlier, forecasters said was likely to fizzle before becoming a threat to land.

Minimal impacts are expected from this weakening tropical storm.

Currently, the tropical storm is expected to dissipate over the weekend east of the Lesser Antilles islands. Some 60,000 people still have only tarps for roofs. "They're the ones who are suffering the most now". It was expected to remain nearly stationary over the next few days before growing to hurricane force and moving to the northeast.

"With the decrease in our forecast, the probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean has decreased as well", the team explained.

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