The weather system that's now about 1,300 miles east and southeast of the Lesser Antilles had been deemed a tropical depression Thursday morning and strengthened within a few hours to a tropical storm. It has winds of 35 miles per hour and is moving west at 16 miles per hour.
A hurricane watch has been issued for the island of Barbados and a tropical storm watch has been posted for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.
Forecast models suggests Beryl could reach hurricane strength within 36 hours, but after that time increasing westerly shear is expected to cause weakening. In 2017, there were 17 named tropical storms including 10 hurricanes, of which six were major hurricanes.
Because Beryl is so small, forecasters were less certain about just how much the storm could strengthen. More recently, a low level spin we've been tracking for several days near Bermuda managed to produce enough thunderstorm activity to be upgraded to a Tropical Depression on Friday afternoon off the North Carolina coast.
Tropical storm "beryl" (Tropical Storm Beryl) formed in the Atlantic ocean. Elsewhere, tropical storm development is trending more likely 100-300 miles off the Carolina Coast this weekend - a trend to watch closely for sure! Maximum wind speeds in this smaller than average storm are about 60 miles per hour.
New predictions from Colorado State University suggest for a total of 11 named storms will develop this season, a drop from the original prediction of 14.