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Beryl becomes first hurricane of 2018 season

Hurricane, tropical storm watches in effect for several islands

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Hurricane Beryl formed early Friday, becoming the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

Beryl intensified in the Atlantic Ocean, just one day after developing into a tropical storm.

According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Beryl had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and was moving west at 15 mph. It was located about 965 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles as of the 5 p.m. advisory.

Beryl is forecast to strengthen Friday but weaken as it nears the Lesser Antilles late Sunday or early Monday.

"It could further strengthen and then, as approaching the Lesser Antilles Sunday evening, it could very well still be a hurricane," Local 10 News chief certified meteorologist Betty Davis said. "So, once it moves over into the eastern Caribbean Sea, that's the point at which they do show a weakening trend occurring, as some wind shear is expected to knock it down." 

The government of Barbados has issued a Hurricane Watch for Dominica. Meanwhile, the government of France has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.

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