3:35 p.m.

A tropical depression in the central Atlantic Ocean has surprised weather forecasters by strengthened into Tropical Storm Beryl.

The National Hurricane Center, in its 2 p.m. statement, said satellite data indicated the storm had developed a distinct mid-level "eye" with winds of around 50 mph.

Forecasters were surprised because the storm is surrounded by dry air and is moving over relatively cool waters, yet it managed to strengthen. In fact, forecasters said it is possible Beryl could become a hurricane before encountering hostile environmental conditions in the next few days.

Beryl is moving west at 16 mph and does not currently threaten any land.

 

11:45 p.m.

A weather system in the central Atlantic Ocean has strengthened into the season's second tropical depression.

The National Hurricane Center said in its 11 a.m. advisory that cyclone was heading west at 16 mph with winds of 35 mph.

Some strengthening was expected and the system could become Tropical Storm Beryl.

The long-term forecast called for the system to dissipate in the next few days due to dry air and cool Atlantic waters.

The system is no threat to land.

Previous coverage

The National Hurricane Center is keeping an eye on two disturbances in the tropics that could develop into a tropical depression or storm.

The first is east of the Florida-Georgia border area, or southwest of Bermuda. The Hurricane Center called it a trough of low pressure and said conditions were conducive for development before the end of the week, when it is expected to run into a frontal system and be absorbed.

The disturbance is moving west-northwest and is expected to turn more to the north later in the forecast period. It poses a 40 percent chance of development over the next five days.

System 2 is a small but well organized disturbance in the central Atlantic Ocean, midway between Africa and the Caribbean islands.

The Hurricane Center says shower activity associated with the disturbance remains well organized and a depression could form at any time.

The system is moving west at 15-20 mph and is expected to continue on that path, or move slightly north of west, over the next few days.

Forecasters say it poses a 70 percent chance of development.