"Compact" Beryl Packing Hurricane Punch

Beryl became the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season Friday and now looks to be hanging around a little longer than previously thought.

The "compact" storm, as forecasters at the National Hurricane Center put it, is now expected to maintain hurricane strength as it approaches the Lesser Antilles and could remain at tropical storm strength into early next week. Previously, Beryl was thought to weaken into a tropical wave after the weekend.

"Due to its very small size, there is greater-than-usual uncertainty in the analysis of Beryl's current intensity, and confidence in the official intensity forecast is also lower than normal," noted a Friday morning discussion from the NHC on Beryl. "Rapid changes in intensity, both up and down, that are difficult to predict are possible during the next couple of days."

An area of showers and thunderstorms off the East Coast is also getting attention, as the NHC expects a tropical depression will form in a few days.

For now, neither system is a threat to the Gulf Coast.

Photo: Getty Images

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