Extremely Dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Beryl Approaches Caribbean

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Extremely dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Beryl nears the Caribbean, posing severe threats. Stay updated on safety and impact measures

Beryl Becomes Earliest Category 4 Hurricane in Atlantic History

 

Extremely Dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Beryl Approaches Caribbean

Beryl, the first hurricane of the 2024 Atlantic season, has intensified into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph as of Sunday morning. This formidable storm is now making its way toward the Windward Islands.

 

Beryl has set a new record as the earliest Category 4 hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean and the only such storm recorded in June. Typically, the first hurricane of the season does not appear until August 11. As of 2 p.m. ET, Beryl was located about 310 miles east-southeast of Barbados, heading west.

 

A satellite image of Tropical Storm Beryl, provided by NOAA at 19:27 UTC on Saturday, June 29, shows the storm's rapid intensification. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has warned that "a life-threatening storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 6 to 9 feet above normal tide levels in areas of onshore flow near where the eye makes landfall in the hurricane warning area." This surge could bring large and destructive waves near the coast.

 

The hurricane has been strengthening quickly, with its wind speeds increasing by 55 mph in the 24 hours leading up to Sunday morning. “We’re forecasting rapid intensification and expecting Beryl to become a major hurricane before it reaches places like Barbados and the Windward Islands and continue to be a powerful hurricane as it moves into the eastern and central Caribbean as we go into the early portions of next week,” NHC Director Mike Brennan told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield on Saturday. Rapid intensification is defined as an increase in maximum sustained wind speed of 35 mph or more in a 24-hour period.

 

 

Residents in Barbados and other islands in the hurricane warning area are preparing for the potential impact of Beryl, which could be felt as early as Sunday evening. Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley of Barbados has urged all non-essential businesses on the island to close by 8:30 p.m. Sunday. The center of Beryl is expected to pass about 75 miles south of Barbados early Monday morning, bringing hurricane-force winds, heavy rainfall, flash flooding, and severe thunderstorm activity.

 

Barbados, Grenada, and Saint Lucia will close some of their airports Sunday night as Beryl approaches. Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport will close at 6 p.m., with plans to reopen on Tuesday at 10 a.m., subject to change. The Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados will close from 7 p.m. until further notice. The Hewanorra International Airport and the George F. L. Charles Airport in Saint Lucia will also suspend operations.

 

Barbados, still hosting cricket fans from around the globe for the T20 World Cup, is making efforts to support visitors unfamiliar with hurricanes. Large crowds and long lines have been reported at local grocery stores and gas stations as people prepare for the storm. In Saint Lucia, a national shutdown will take effect at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, with businesses and schools remaining closed on Monday. Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre urged residents to secure their properties and ensure they have necessary supplies.

 

Beryl is the earliest major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) in the Atlantic in 58 years. It is now the Atlantic Ocean’s third-earliest major hurricane, following Hurricane Alma on June 8, 1996, and Hurricane Audrey on June 27, 1957. The storm has also set a record for the easternmost hurricane to form in the Tropical Atlantic in June, surpassing a record set in 1933.

 

This year, the Atlantic basin has seen above-normal water temperatures and a lack of wind shear due to the transition from El Niño to La Niña conditions, both of which fuel tropical development. “Beryl has found an environment with very warm ocean waters for this time of year,” Brennan explained.

 

The National Weather Service predicts an above-normal hurricane season, with 17 to 25 named storms, including eight to 13 hurricanes, of which four to seven could be major hurricanes. This is attributed to near-record warm ocean temperatures, La Niña conditions, reduced Atlantic trade winds, and less wind shear, all of which favor tropical storm formation.

 

As Beryl continues to move westward, communities in its path are bracing for impact and preparing for what could be a precursor to an active and intense hurricane season.


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CRN News Update - Latest Breaking News: Extremely Dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Beryl Approaches Caribbean
Extremely Dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Beryl Approaches Caribbean
Extremely dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Beryl nears the Caribbean, posing severe threats. Stay updated on safety and impact measures
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