Tropical Storm Beryl, the second named storm of the 2012 Atlantic season, is nearing hurricane strength as its head for the Florida coast, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
The weather system is about 75 miles (121 kilometers) east of Jacksonville, Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, the Miami-based center said in an advisory posted at 8 p.m. New York time.
Beryl is moving at 10 mph and is expected to turn northward over northeastern Florida and southeastern Georgia by Monday night. A tropical storm warning is in effect from the Brevard- Volusia County line in Florida to Edisto Beach, South Carolina, the advisory showed.
“Little change in strength is expected prior to landfall but any additional increase in strength would make Beryl a category one hurricane,” the center said in the statement.
Gusts may reach hurricane speeds over parts of northeastern Florida and southeastern Georgia and flooding is possible with water rising to as much as 4 feet (1.2 meters) above ground, according to the center. Beryl is expected to weaken to a tropical depression by tonight after landfall.
A storm becomes tropical when thunderstorm activity begins building close to the center of circulation, according to Weather Underground Inc. of Ann Arbor, Michigan. A subtropical storm usually has a large cloud-free center of circulation, Weather Underground said.
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