Barbados remains on tropical storm watch

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Tropical Storm Chris was upgraded from a tropical depression to a full storm overnight, as Tropical Depression 3 formed off the coast of North Carolina late on Friday afternoon and strengthened early Sunday morning.

The Met Office said Beryl remained a Category 1 hurricane at 11:00 am, with speeds near 80 miles per hour, heading west at approximately 15 miles per hour. The hurricane center said it would likely become a tropical storm Saturday and continue strengthening over the next few days while remaining far offshore.

Beryl is considered a small tropical storm and the tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center.

Currently, the center of the system was located by an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft near latitude 32.3 North, longitude 74.3 West with 70 miles per hour winds.

A turn to the northwest and then north is expected to begin by Tuesday night taking the system across the Bahamas and the adjacent Atlantic waters.

The government of Barbados has issued a Tropical Storm Warning and discontinued the Hurricane Watch for Dominica.

At 6pm, the system was 612 miles west of Bermuda, with winds of about 35mph and higher gusts. Forecasters say the storm is likely to maintain its hurricane status as it approaches and crosses the islands.

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.

The National Weather Service put out tropical storm warnings for Dominica and Guadeloupe, and tropical storm watches for Barbados; Martinique, St. Martin, and St. Barthelemy; Saba and St. Eustatius; and St. Maarten.

The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, spared Bermuda previous year, but battered the Caribbean as well as the United States. This area of showers and thunderstorms will not directly impact land before it is absorbed by an approaching cold front on Sunday.

Meantime, forecasters are also keeping an eye on a weather system off the coast of North Carolina that could turn into a tropical depression over the weekend.

NHC cautioned that interests in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of Beryl, as hurricane watches could be needed for some of the islands by tonight, July 6.