Tropical Storm Chris set to become hurricane Monday; Beryl fizzles

New predictions for hurricanes, storms in the Caribbean this season

National Hurricane Center monitoring two tropical disturbances

Two low pressure systems in the Atlantic ocean could form into tropical depressions by the end of the week, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Chris is now 150 miles south of Cape Hatteras, NC, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. Still, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Dominica and Guadaloupe, and a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Barbados, Martinique, St. Martin, and St. Barthelemy, Saba and St. Eustatius and St. Maarte.

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.

Neither Beryl, nor Chris are forecast to impact South Mississippi. It was located about 1,295 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles, a chain of islands in the eastern Caribbean Sea.

No coastal watches or warnings are in effect, but forecasters say swells along the coasts of North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic states could produce risky surf and rip current conditions.

"People are very aware, and they want to be prepared", Colon said.

The new forecast predicts 11 named storms, four hurricanes, one of which would be major.

The government of Dominica said it would shut down its water system and Puerto Rico's governor warned of likely new power outages.

The small size of this tropical storm has also allowed it to quickly develop.

A tropical depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Beryl on Thursday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said.

Beryl is likely to result in rain accumulations of 2 to 3 inches in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and amounts in some areas could reach 5 inches. More than 1,500 power customers remain in the dark more than nine months after Maria, and some 60,000 people still have only tarps for roofs. It made landfall on the Florida Panhandle as a subtropical storm and ushered drenching rains across states in the South and Midwest. "They're the ones who are suffering the most now". However, Chris is expected to remain well offshore over the next several days, moving slowly at first and then accelerating away from the United States later in the week. The storm poses no threat to land, but forecasters expect it to become a hurricane on Monday.

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