Wednesday,  March 29, 2023  2:16 am

Hurricane Beryl is the first major storm of the season

Hurricane Beryl is the first major storm of the season

While it may have been nowhere near as powerful as Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season has been reported.

Tropical Storm Beryl weakened from a Category One hurricane over the weekend and is expected to create strong winds and rains in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, as the storm moves west; while no official storm watches remain in effect, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) advised residents of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti to monitor the storm’s progress.

READ MORE: InsureMyTrip predicts 20% jump in travel insurance for hurricane season

The Associated Press reported that the government of Dominica said it would shut down its water system and Puerto Rico's governor warned of likely new power outages, while residents of islands in the storm’s path stocked up on food and water and prepared for possible damaging winds, rains and waves.

The NHC said that Beryl could also strengthen to a tropical cyclone as the storm moves toward Florida and the Bahamas.

Tropical Storm Chris gathering strength

In addition to Beryl, Tropical Storm Chris has been reported off the coast of North Carolina and is expected to become a hurricane by tonight (July 9); while Chris is not expected to make landfall on the U.S. East Coast, the storm will likely create swells that are expected to affect parts of the coastline for the next few days.