Archive | Hurricane

IsaacDowngraded

IsaacDowngraded

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sept 11, CMC – Hurricane Isaac was inching its way towards the Lesser Antilles on Tuesday after losing steam and downgraded to a strong tropical storm over the Central tropical Atlantic.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said that the storm, located near latitude 14.6 North, longitude 48.1 West, has sustained maximum winds of 70 miles per hour (mph) and was about 880 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

“Isaac is moving towards the west near 14 mph.  This general motion is expected to continue through the end of the week. On the forecast track, Isaac should move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Thursday,” the NHC said.

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WhatsApp Image 2018-09-10 at 8.53.01 PM

Hurricane Isaac 2018 update: Still a Category 1 on path for Caribbean

A toss up – as to which way a curve away from the Islands or a weakening by time it gets to the Islands. Either way the authorities are cautioning “Be Prepared’.
 
Hurricane Isaac remained a minimal Category 1 hurricane on Monday afternoon but is forecast to strengthen in the next day or two. It could begin to weaken later this week as it approaches the Caribbean. (National Hurricane Center)
Hurricane Isaac remained a minimal Category 1 hurricane on Monday afternoon but is forecast to strengthen in the next day or two. It could begin to weaken later this week as it approaches the Caribbean. (National Hurricane Center)

Hurricane Isaac remained a minimal hurricane on Monday afternoon and continued to track westward on a path that could bring it across the Lesser Antilles by Thursday.

And if that wasn’t enough the National Hurricane Center is also watching a disturbance already in the Caribbean that could become a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico later this week.

But first Isaac. As of 4 p.m. CDT Monday, Hurricane Isaac was located about 1,090 miles east of the Winward Islands and was moving west at 14 mph.

Isaac maintained winds of 75 mph, making it a minimal Category 1 hurricane.

While Isaac hasn’t gained any strength today that could change over the next day or two. Forecasters said Monday afternoon that they weren’t sure why Isaac hasn’t intensified yet.

The hurricane center said weakening should begin by the middle of the week as Isaac nears the Lesser Antilles.

The hurricane center thinks, however, that Isaac will be near or at hurricane strength when it reaches the islands.

Isaac is forecast to continue moving west and pick up a bit of speed through the end of the week.

On that path it will move across the Lesser Antilles on Thursday. The hurricane center said watches may be needed for the islands on Tuesday.

However, the hurricane center noted that confidence in Isaac’s track forecast is on the low side.

That’s because forecast models are split into two factions on its path.

One set of models suggests Isaac could recurve near or east of the Lesser Antilles and miss the islands all together.

However some of the more reliable models show a consistent westward motion across the islands and into the eastern Caribbean.

The hurricane center is sticking with the westward path for now but added a disclaimer: “Given the spread in the guidance, the confidence in the details of the track forecast beyond the first couple of days is larger than usual.”

Isaac is a small storm, and its strongest winds extend out from the center only about 10 miles.

The hurricane center said the intensity forecast is also difficult.

Storms that small are notoriously challenging to predict because they are more susceptible to environmental changes around them.

Models are also disagree on how how strong — or weak — Isaac will be.

Some models suggest Isaac will steadily weaken as it encounters wind shear in a few days. But yet another one shows Isaac becoming a major hurricane.

Isaac is one of three hurricanes in the Atlantic on Monday.

There’s also Florence, which is a Category 4 as of Monday afternoon and forecast to strike the U.S. as a major hurricane this week, and Category 2 Helene, which is in the far eastern Atlantic and not forecast to affect land.

The hurricane center is also watching a disturbance in the northwest Caribbean that could move into the Gulf of Mexico in a few days.

The hurricane center raised the odds of development to 50 percent on Monday afternoon and said a tropical depression could form Thursday or Friday in the western Gulf.

It was forecast to stay on a west-northwest to northwest path.

The hurricane center warned those along the U.S. Gulf Coast from Louisiana to northeastern Mexico to keep an eye on the system.

In addition to Hurricanes Florence, Helene and Isaac there are two tropical disturbances being monitored by the hurricane center. The one in the northwest Caribbean could become a tropical depression by Thursday or Friday. (NHC)

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WhatsApp Image 2018-09-09 at 7.52.14 PM

Tropical storm Isaac now a hurricane as it heads towards the Caribbean

So now a Hurricane Isaac demanding some attention…Montserrat!
Update: Now a Cat 1 hurricane out there East of Montserrat and the chain (Grenada – BVI) – no change and it will smack us Thursday-Friday. Meanwhile Florence well north of the chain roars on to the US eastern mainland also by Friday at Cat 3

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By Caribbean News Now contributor

MIAMI, USA — At 5:00 pm EDT on Sunday, the centre of Tropical Storm Isaac was located about 1,390 miles (2,240 km) east of the Windward Islands, moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 km/h) and is expected to become a hurricane by Sunday night.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, the westward motion is forecast to continue through the end of the week and accelerate during the next 36 hours, with Isaac expected to move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Wednesday night or Thursday.

 

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast, but weakening is anticipated to begin by the middle of the week as Isaac approaches the Lesser Antilles.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the centre.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Florence, which is about 720 miles (1,160 km) southeast of Bermuda and about 580 miles (935 km) northeast of the northern Leeward Islands, is forecast to become a major hurricane on Monday.

However, on the forecast track, the centre of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and The Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Aircraft and satellite data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph (140 km/h) with higher gusts. Florence is forecast to rapidly strengthen to a major hurricane by Monday, and is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km). Florence is forecast to become larger over the next few days.

Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Tropical Storm Helene also became a hurricane on Sunday but is expected to remain over open water in the Atlantic as it continues to move away from the Cabo Verde Islands.

Finally, a combination of an upper-level trough and a tropical wave over the northwestern Caribbean Sea is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms between Cuba and Honduras.

Upper-level winds could become somewhat more conducive for some development in a couple of days while the system moves slowly west-northwestward or northwestward.

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Mark Lancaster poses with the crew of RFA Mounts Bay after watching a Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief Exercise on the small volcanic island of Montserrat.

UK Armed Forces on high alert for hurricane season

News story

The UK’s Overseas Territories will have unwavering military support throughout the 2018 hurricane season, a Defence minister has confirmed.

Mark Lancaster poses with the crew of RFA Mounts Bay after watching a Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief Exercise on the small volcanic island of Montserrat.
Mark Lancaster poses with the crew of RFA Mounts Bay after watching a Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise on the small volcanic island of Montserrat. Crown copyright.

British residents were killed, homes were destroyed and infrastructure was decimated when Irma and Maria, two of the most powerful hurricanes for decades, smashed through the region back-to-back in September 2017.

Mark Lancaster visited Barbados, Antigua and Montserrat this week to reassure locals that the Ministry of Defence is supporting other Government departments to ensure that similar devastation is not repeated.

Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster said:

No matter what the elements throw at our Overseas Territories this year, we will be there to help them every step of the way throughout 2018 and beyond. We may not be able to prevent natural disasters from occurring, but our world-class military have been planning meticulously to ensure lives are protected and damage is kept to a minimum.

Our citizens in the Caribbean have already shown incredible resilience over the last year and we are determined that when this difficult period is over their local facilities are in a better state than they were before.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Mounts Bay will act as the hub of the UK’s response, and the minister was able to see a demonstration of her amphibious capabilities while in Montserrat.

Fleet Auxiliary vessel MOUNTS BAY and her crew conducting a Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief Exercise in Montserrat.
Fleet Auxiliary vessel MOUNTS BAY and her crew conducting a Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise in Montserrat. Crown copyright.

As well as being able to carry vital aid and equipment, RFA Mounts Bay also has the latest Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter on board to provide aerial support. There is also a medical facility on board, with 10 patient beds for anyone who suffers serious injuries or illness.

The visit also provided an opportunity for Mr Lancaster to speak to island governors and residents about their needs as they continue to recover from last year’s hurricanes.

As well as preparing for this year, RFA Mounts Bay has been in the region since Irma struck and will remain there until 2020 to help restore the islands to normal.

A Wildcat helicopter takes off from RFA Mounts Bay during the Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief Exercise
A Wildcat helicopter takes off from RFA Mounts Bay during the Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise. Crown copyright.

The Government has already committed £142million to support the recovery effort in the affected territories, as well as £300million of UK loan guarantees.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon is currently visiting the British Virgin Islands, which suffered extensive damage, as the Government continues its preparations for 2018.

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UK Foreign Office Minister for Overseas Territories to visit BVI

UK Foreign Office Minister for Overseas Territories to visit BVI

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands, Jul. 29,   CMC – The United Kingdom (UK) Foreign Office Minister for the Overseas Territories, Lord Tariq Ahmad, of Wimbledon will visit the territory between July 31 and August 1 to discuss hurricane preparedness and view progress on recovery.

Lord Tariq Ahmad

As part of his two-day visit, the government  says that Lord Ahmad and Premier Dr.   Orlando Smith will visit a number of public sites affected by last year’s hurricanes.

During his visit, Lord Ahmad will be updated on the how the UK’s support is helping recovery efforts and will officially hand over the new purpose-built temporary Court House to the Government.

This court house will allow the Supreme Court and Magistrates’ Court to “function fully while a permanent building is constructed,” the statement said.

  Lord Ahmad will also visit the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Mounts Bay, which will remain in the region throughout the hurricane season to provide rapid assistance to islands, if needed.

RFA is a civilian-manned fleet owned by the UK’s Ministry of Defense, whose purpose is to support the Royal Navy to maintain operations around the world.

The BVI Government said Lord Ahmad will meet with the Board of the Recovery and Development Agency “to be updated on their progress and efforts to deliver the six-month accelerated plan ahead of endorsement of the longer term Recovery and Development Plan by the House of Assembly.”

“The UK has played a critical role in assisting the region to recover from last year’s unprecedented and devastating hurricanes, providing aid and support to help British Overseas Territories,” said Lord (Tariq) Ahmad, ahead of the BVI visit. “However, I know there is still more to be done before the islands are fully recovered, and the UK stands ready to help.

“We are already working with partners across the Caribbean to make sure plans are being put in place to prepare for future hurricanes, so we do not see a repeat of last year’s destruction,” he added.

The BVI Government said Lord Ahmad will also “seek to address concerns about the UK’s Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act when he meets with Premier Smith and the Cabinet.”

In addition, Lord Ahmad will meet with members of the financial services industry, and business and tourism representatives.

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RFA Mounts Bay visits to provide support in the event of hurricanes

During the media visit aboard the British naval ship RFA Mounts Bay which last year was very involved in rescues and support to Anguilla and British Virgin Islands during the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria, the commanding officer of the has assured Montserrat that it is capable of giving assistance in hurricane and disaster relief.

On Wednesday, hearing from the reporters that Montserrat is normally the first in line of hurricanes coming out of the east, Captain Peter Selby told reporters that the ship can be in Montserrat within twelve hours after a hurricane strikes. He emphasized that part of their response is to restore critical services.

Portrait of Captain Peter Selby RFA
Portrait of Captain Selby RFA, Taken aboard the bridge on RFA Mounts Bay

“My vessel has a number of capabilities which can assist the U.K.’s overseas territories in hurricane and disaster relief. I have a team of Royal engineers with prompt earth moving equipment. I have a shelter kits, lorries, motorbikes,” adding, I have skilled engineers on board who are all capable of providing a blue light emergency response to any natural disaster.”

The captain explains that by blue light, “I mean we aim to be here within twelve hours of a hurricane passing through and would remain in the area for around 48 hours in order to provide you with a first line of Disaster Response, to enable you to restore all of critical services such as electricity, treat any casualties that you may have.

He said the ship has, “a fully equipped hospital on board with a medical team on standby in the U.K., to come and assist my core medical team of some four personnel.”

The ship which arrived the same day, Wednesday and the captain had said they will engage in a number of activities to include an emergency response exercise at Little Bay, training, and an Agricultural survey.

On Thursday, the ship hosted a reception on board in the evening during which the UK Right Honourable Mark Lancaster MP, who began a one-day visit on Thursday morning presented awards to several of the ship’s men.

Click to see pictures 

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European Union steps up support for Caribbean countries

European Union steps up support for Caribbean countries

BRUSSELS, Jul. 17, CMC – The European Union on Tuesday signed three new agreements with St. Lucia, Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda,to support post-hurricane recovery and reconstructions efforts.

The agreements were signed on the margins of the second EU-Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Foreign Ministers meeting. 

They were signed by Stefano Manservisi, Director-General for International Cooperation and Development, with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and CARICOM Affairs of Dominica, Francine Baron, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of St Lucia representing CARIFORUM, Sarah Flood-Beaubrun and Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda, Karen-Mae Hill .

The financing agreements amount to €30 million.

Some countries in the Caribbean  were everely impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria last year .

In the case of Dominica, damages and losses were calculated at 226 per cent of GDP, while the destruction on the island of Barbuda resulted in the evacuation of the entire population to Antigua.

The €11 million programme for Dominica will support the implementation of the national recovery plan through budget support.

The €5 million programme for Antigua and Barbuda aims to support housing reconstruction for low-income families and the €14 million programme with CARIFORUM will support the Caribbean Disaster Management Agency (CDEMA) in further enhancing the region’s disaster preparedness and response capacity.

The three programmes are part of a larger package of €74 million adopted this week.

The package that will support the  region to “build-back-better” and promote resilience vis-à-vis future natural hazards, follows from the pledge made by the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, at the CARICOM-UN high level conference in New York in November 2017.

Manservisi also signed the Addendum to the National Indicative Programme for Jamaica following the mid-term review, with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith.

The additional €20 million will target initiatives in the area of citizen security.

Meanwhile,  a €15 million disbursement on the sugar programme for Jamaica was agreed.

This payment was made in recognition of the progress made by the Jamaican Government in the transformation of the sugar industry over the past ten years.

Jamaica’s sugar sector has transformed to become more competitive, increasing productivity and environmental sustainability, whilst supporting young people and social challenges in sugar-dependant areas.

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Hurricane Beryl Continues To Track Closer To Caribbean Islands, Hurricane Watch Issued For Dominica

By  //  July 6, 2018

ABOVE VIDEO: Meteorologist Mike Lyons of WPBF News has the latest on Hurricane Beryl. (WPBF 25 News Video)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Category 1 Hurricane Beryl continues to roll closer to the Caribbean as the first hurricane watch has been issued for the Dominica Island, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, and St. Barthelemy.

After the latest NHC report, Beryl continues to hold steady at 80 mph max sustained winds and moving to the west at 15 mph.

On the current forecast track, the center of Hurricane Beryl will approach the Lesser Antilles over the weekend and cross the island chain late Sunday or Monday.

“Additional strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Beryl is expected to still be a hurricane when it reaches the Lesser Antilles late Sunday or Monday,” said the National Hurricane Center.

“Weakening is expected once Beryl reaches the eastern Caribbean Sea on Monday, but the system may not degenerate into an open trough until it reaches the vicinity of Hispaniola and the central Caribbean Sea.”

Category 1 Hurricane Beryl continues to roll closer to the Caribbean as the first hurricane watch has been issued for the Dominica Island, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). (TWC Image)

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles.

National Hurricane Center says islands west of Lesser Antilles should continue monitor the progress of Beryl, as more hurricane watches could be issued in the coming days.

Category 1 Hurricane Beryl continues to roll closer to the Caribbean as the first hurricane watch has been issued for the Dominica Island, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). (TWC Image)

ABOVE VIDEO: Longtime Central Florida Meteorologist and Space Coast Daily correspondent Danny Treanor offers some advice on how to prepare for the upcoming 2018 hurricane season.

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Montserrat to host OECS Environment Council Meeting

Montserrat to host OECS Environment Council Meeting

Under caption “Montserrat: still here, still home, still nice”, on June 15, 2018 we published that the Organisation of East Caribbean States (OECS) revealed that this year, the much-anticipated OECS Council of Ministers of Environment Sustainability (COMES 5) will be held in this lovely island of Montserrat.

The 5th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Environmental Sustainability (COMES) of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will take place in Montserrat from Tuesday, July 10 to 11, under the theme “Building Resilience on the Frontlines of Climate Change”.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, Lands, Housing and the Environment (MATLHE) is preparing to welcome more than 40 delegates to the island, for the Meeting, which will be chaired by the Honourable Minister David Osborne who will address the opening ceremony, along with other speakers who will deliver remarks pertaining to environment and climate change issues on Montserrat and the region.

Minister Osborne noted that this year’s theme is important given the devastation experienced in the region last year. He said following last year’s catastrophic hurricane season, there is heightened awareness and drive in the region for all of us to become more resilient to these natural hazards which are influenced greatly by climate change.

The Minister further noted that this year’s theme “Accelerating Sustainable Development: Addressing Challenges and Creating Opportunities.” is important given the devastation experienced in the region last year. He said following last year’s catastrophic hurricane season, there is heightened awareness and drive in the region for all of us to become more resilient to these natural hazards which are influenced greatly by climate change. Minister Osborne further noted that the COMES5 Meeting provides an avenue for environment ministers in the region to take a unified position on matters affecting our environment.

The OECS in announcing the meeting in June said, “The COMES 5 comes at a critical juncture, given the severe economic and social impacts of the hurricanes of 2017 and  will provide the forum for ministers to engage with senior technocrats and development partners and to make decisions that will advance the climate and overall environmental resilience of the region.”

As part of the meeting, the delegates will deliberate on several matters to include strengthening disaster preparedness and response coordination; The Blue and Green Economies; and Energy resilience among others.

Delegates were to begin arriving on island over this weekend and will include OECS Environment Ministers, technical officers and regional partners. It is not certain how this will evolve as due to the threat of hurricane Beryl ferry operations and flights had been suspended but are expected to resume on Monday afternoon.

 

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Governor Pearce press brief after NDPRAC meeting

Montserrat prepares for the first 2018 hurricane threat

A Release following an urgent NDPRAC meeting, the third since the beginning of the hurricane season the group chaired by H E Governor Andrew Pearce is “urging residents to remain vigilant to tropical storm Beryl, as the path a storm or hurricane can change at any moment.”The National Disaster Preparedness Response Advisory Committee (NDPRAC) met at 1.00 p.m. on Saturday July 7, 2018 at the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) to discuss the impending storm.“Disaster Management Officials provided an update on the path of Tropical Storm Beryl.“The message now is for residents to remain vigilant and to continue to monitor the path of the system, which was downgraded to a tropical storm on Saturday. Hence, there’s no need for alarm at this present time, however, persons should not be complacent as tropical storms and hurricanes are fluid by nature and can change at a moment’s notice.”The release further advised that the core NDPRAC will meet on Sunday July 8 at 12 noon following the 11 o’clock weather advisory.

Governor Pearce press brief after NDPRAC meeting

On Monday this week, under a theme: “Plan and Take Action… Always Prepare for the Unexpected”, a tabletop exercise was held here on Monday, July 2, 2018 at the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) to test Montserrat’s readiness to respond to a tropical storm or hurricane impacting the island.

The exercise, held as part of the DMCA’s 2018 National Hurricane Conference, of which the ‘media’ was not a part, (not invited to participate, uninformed) brought together key personnel from the public sector, statutory organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to assess their individual plans to respond to a tropical cyclone event.

The exercise led participants through a simulated hurricane scenario and prompted them to examine their plan of action and procedures at various phases of the event and how it ties into the Montserrat National Hurricane Plan.

The goals of the exercise were to critically assess the response capability and coordination of the various organizations and agencies involved using their internal plans and resources; and to help them identify improvements that could make the difference in saving lives and to ensure business continuity at the private, public and national levels.”

In very short notice, perhaps responding to some media concerns on ignorant exclusions, His Excellency Andrew Pearce met immediately with the press, after today’s meeting with the National Disaster Preparedness Response Advisory Committee (NDPRAC), which is comprised of key senior government officials, including the governor, premier, MVO and the police, where he was quizzed on the activities of the earlier meetings.

He briefed:

While shelters most likely won’t be needed for the passing of Tropical Storm Beryl, based on its current trajectory, they are ready to be put to use.However, Montserrat still has several major issues which need to be rectified.

The governor who is witnessing his first hurricane season in Montserrat, reported that the DMCA has been working since the last hurricane season to prepare the designated 12 hurricane shelters and they are in working order and can manage about 300 people collectively.

List of hurricane shelters…

Montserrat is not where it needs to be in terms of its preparedness at this point in the hurricane season. He said working with the relevant departments, they are tackling five key areas.

The first being, non-electrical supplies and equipment for the shelters, including cots, First Aid kits and water pumps. Totaling about US$300,000, these supplies are to be managed by the DMCA once they arrive on island.

Second, electrical supplies including generators are also to be procured. However, there has been a delay in the process as they were working to establish the various power supplies and correct voltage needed for the locations.

Governor Pearce said communications can be a nightmare in emergency situations and Montserrat currently does not have enough emergency radios, and base stations are not where they need to be. The UK Government under the Hurricane Preparedness Plan for the Caribbean Overseas Territories is providing technical support to assess the island’s communications needs.

The fourth priority area is the national radio station infrastructure. The governor said EC$500,000 has been allocated to purchase a relay for Garibaldi Hill and strengthen the transmission tower on Silver Hills.

The fifth area is the personnel coordination to ensure that teams know what they are to do and everyone has shared their relevant contact information.

He said further, they are aware of the vulnerabilities and are working to address them. However, he was not optimistic that the communication challenges would be fully rectified in the coming weeks but rather saw an end of the hurricane season date as the most probable.

Hurricane expected to make landfall late Sunday

(CNN) – The year’s first Atlantic hurricane weakened Saturday morning into a tropical storm, but Caribbean islands struck by last year’s devastating hurricanes are still on alert.

Beryl remained very small, moving west-northwest at 17 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, shy of Category 1 status, according to an advisory issued at 5 p.m. ET by the National Hurricane Center.

Though the storm’s intensity could still fluctuate unpredictably, its chances of regaining hurricane strength before reaching the Lesser Antilles, the arc of islands from the US Virgin Islands to Grenada, have dropped significantly, CNN meteorologists said.

Beryl is due to reach that zone sometime late Sunday, the hurricane center said, at which point it’s likely to weaken into a tropical depression.

Later Monday the storm is expected to head south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, whipping the island with minimal tropical storm-force winds as it continues to weaken.

Still, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello has declared a state of emergency for the island that is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricanes Maria and Irma last year.

“While we don’t expect a direct hit to take place on Puerto Rico, even some of those outer bands … have the potential to knock out power” on the US territory, where Maria triggered months of power outages, CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said.

Rossello encouraged residents living in homes with roofs covered by blue tarps to find refuge in shelters or family members’ homes.

‘People are very aware’

News of Beryl’s approach has been enough for Puerto Ricans to flock to stores to stock up on water and dry goods.

Frances Colon, a Miami resident who is on the island for a wedding, shared a photo Friday morning of a line of people that spread to the parking lot of a Costco in the city of Bayamón.

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

Weather watches were in effect at 11 a.m. ET Saturday, along Beryl’s expected path.

A tropical storm warning was in place in Dominica, replacing an earlier hurricane watch, and Guadeloupe. Tropical storm watches were in place in Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Saba and St. Eustatius, according to the hurricane center.

Earlier, the hurricane center had described the storm as “Tiny Beryl” because of “its very small size.” Tropical storm-force winds by Saturday evening extended as far as 45 miles from the storm’s center.

Storm brewing off the Carolina coast

Meanwhile, another storm, Tropical Depression 3, is crawling over the Atlantic about 150 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

The storm is forecast to strengthen in coming days and could become a tropical storm Saturday night or Sunday, the hurricane center said Saturday morning.

No watches or warnings for that storm have been issued. A forecast model shows the storm wouldn’t approach land until Wednesday, when it could skirt Nova Scotia before impacting Newfoundland on Thursday. Both are in Canada.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and peaks from mid-August to late-October.

The year’s first named storm, Alberto, hit in late May. It made landfall on the Florida Panhandle as a subtropical storm and ushered drenching rains across states in the South and Midwest. At least five people died in incidents related to that storm.

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