A tropical storm watch is now in effect for Barbados.
This means that storm conditions, including wind speeds of between 39 and 73 miles per hour (63 to 117 kilometres per hour) are possible within the watch area within 36 hours.
At 5 a.m. Hurricane Beryl was located near 11.1 degrees north and 49.8 degrees west, or about 670 miles (1080 kilometres) east of Barbados.
Maximum sustained winds were 75 miles per hour or 120 kilometres per hour.
Forecasters say Beryl’s present movement is towards the west-northwest at 14 miles per hour or 22 kilometres per hour.
“A west-northwestward motion with some increase in forward speed is expected during the next few days,” the Barbados Met Office said in its 5 a.m. bulletin.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to ten miles (20km) and storm force winds up to 35 miles (55km) from the centre of Beryl.
“On its present track, the centre of Hurricane Beryl is estimated to pass between 70 and 100 miles (110 to 130 km) north of Barbados late Sunday or early Monday before moving over the northern Lesser Antilles.
“Due to the small size of the hurricane, short-term changes in intensity, up or down, could occur over the next day or two, but Beryl is forecast to remain near hurricane strength as it nears the Lesser Antilles,” forecasters warned.
However, they said regardless of its development, pockets of moderate to heavy showers and occasional gusty winds are forecast over Barbados from Sunday into Monday. Rainfall accumulations of 25 to 50mm (one to two inches) with isolated higher amounts are also possible over some sections of the island.
Marine conditions are expected to deteriorate by Sunday afternoon with sea swells ranging between three and four metres (10 – 13 feet). As a consequence, a high-surf advisory and small craft warning will go into effect from 6 p.m today until 6 a.m. Monday.
“Large waves and dangerous rip-currents can be expected which will create unsafe conditions for small craft operators.
“Sea bathers and other users of the sea are also advised to stay out of the water during that time. This activity may become even more adverse at times of high tide,” the met office cautioned.