Tropical Depression TWO forms in the Central Atlantic

Update 5.18pm: The NHC said this has strengthened into Tropical Storm Beryl, the second named storm of the 2018 hurricane season. It's moving west at 15 mph and located about 1,045 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles.

Beryl, a tiny, compact storm system in the Atlantic, became the season's first hurricane Friday. In fact, this system will likely lose its designation in about three days - before it even reaches the Lesser Antilles islands.

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. A second system a few hundred miles southwest of Bermuda remained disorganized Thursday morning, but forecasters said it could strengthen as it moves east, away from the USA coast. Beryl is expected to weaken starting on Sunday or Monday.

Forecast models suggests Beryl could reach hurricane strength within 36 hours, but after that time increasing westerly shear is expected to cause weakening.

Tropical Storm Beryl has formed between West Africa and the Lesser Antilles.

The NHC said, "Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50 miles per hour [85 km/h] with higher gusts".

This after cooler waters in the Atlantic and a possible El Nino developing which typically means fewer overall hurricanes will form. Last year, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria helped rack up storm losses totaling more than $200 billion, the most ever.

A forecaster for said the storm will break apart due to strong wind shear as well as dry air and dust. The area denoted in yellow east of the Caribbean Sea shows a concentrated area of t-storms associated with a small low pressure center.

In the Tropics early on this 4th of July, there is some activity we're watching on both sides of the Lower 48. Elsewhere, tropical storm development is trending more likely 100-300 miles off the Carolina Coast this weekend - a trend to watch closely for sure!

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