TAMPA (FOX 13) - The first hurricane of the 2018 season formed Friday, but it’s not expected to hold its strength for too long. meanwhile, a new depression has formed off the U.S. coast.
Beryl strengthened into a hurricane early Friday morning and is being referred to as “Tiny Beryl,” due to its very small size for a storm, the National Weather Service explained. It remains far out in the Atlantic Ocean and is not expected to make much impact to the U.S., or even Florida.
As of Friday evening, Beryl had winds of 80 mph and was continuing to move west.
Beryl could strengthen a bit before weakening late Saturday. It will most likely return to its tropical storm status by late Sunday or Monday as it approaches the Lesser Antilles. However, there could still be rain and wind impacts to those islands early next week.
“It looks like right now at least it will be a tropical wave as it moves over those islands,” said FOX 13’s meteorologist Brittany Rainey.
Meanwhile, a tropical disturbance off the North Carolina coast strengthened into a tropical depression Friday afternoon with winds of 30 mph. Forecasters say it, too, may strengthen but will likely be pushed back out to sea, away from the U.S.
"Most of the guidance suggests that the tropical-storm-force winds associated with the cyclone will occur in the eastern quadrant well away from the U.S. coast. On this basis, no watches or warnings are required for the U.S coast at this time, however, interests along the North Carolina coast should monitor the progress of this system," the NHC forecast noted.
If the depression strengthens into a tropical storm, Chris is the next name on this year's list.