The Caribbean island of Dominica, ravaged by the deadly passage of Hurricane Maria previous year, was again under a hurricane watch Friday as the first such storm of the 2018 Atlantic season moved toward the Lesser Antilles. Dominica was under a hurricane watch and several surrounding islands issued tropical storm watches, with the strong winds possible by Sunday evening.
Beryl was a compact storm, with hurricane force winds extending out about 10 miles (20 kilometers) from its center.
Beryl weakened from a hurricane to a tropical Saturday morning, and is not likely to bring tropical storm force winds to the U.S. Virgin Islands when it passes south of the territory. Forecasters said the storm probably would dissipate once it moved south of Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Tuesday or Wednesday.
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 unsafe surf and rip current conditions.
The Miami-based National Hurricane Center's forecast put the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in the probable path of the storm.
At 6pm, the system was 612 miles west of Bermuda, with winds of about 35mph and higher gusts.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello declared a state of emergency for the island that is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria past year.
Meanwhile, Beryl's intensity forecast remained unchanged overnight, but forecasters expect the storm to weaken and degenerate as it heads over the eastern Caribbean Sea.
There are no watches or warnings from the agency, but it said "Interests in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of Beryl, as hurricane watches could be needed for some of the islands by tonight".