Beryl strengthens into a Category 1 hurricane as it bears down on the Caribbean islands in the Atlantic.

Beryl became a hurricane on Saturday As it buzzed Towards the southeastern Caribbean, forecasters warned, the National Hurricane Center said it was expected to strengthen into a “dangerous major hurricane” before reaching Barbados and the Windward Islands late Sunday or early Monday.

A major hurricane is considered a Type 3 or higher, with sustained winds of at least 111 mph. Currently, Beryl is a Category 1 hurricane.

On Saturday night, Beryl was located 595 miles southeast of Barbados, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph near the hurricane’s center. It was moving west at 20 mph.

“Rapid strengthening over the next day or so,” the hurricane center said.

Hurricane Beryl
In the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Beryl moves west toward the Caribbean. June 29, 2024.

NOAA


Beryl’s center is forecast to pass about 26 miles south of Barbados, said Sabu Best, director of the island’s meteorological service.

A hurricane warning has been issued for Barbados, Saint Lucia, Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, while a tropical storm warning is in effect for Martinique and Tobago and a tropical storm watch is in place for Dominica. All except Barbados are part of the Windward Islands.

The hurricane center said “life-threatening winds and storm surge” are possible for the Windward Islands beginning Sunday night.

It had been more than fifty years since a hurricane had formed in the Atlantic basin before the 4th of July. Alma Hit the Florida Keys According to Weather Underground on June 8, 1966.

“Surprising to see a forecast for a major hurricane anywhere in the Atlantic in June, let alone deep in the tropics to the east. #Beryl is making haste for the warmest waters on record for late June,” Florida-based hurricane expert Michael Lowry posted on social media.

Beryl is the second named storm in what is forecast to be a busy hurricane season that runs from June 1 to November 30 in the Atlantic. Last week, Tropical Storm Alberto was brought Flooding in parts of southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. It is responsible for at least four deaths in the Mexican states of Nuevo León and Veracruz.

According to CBS News meteorologist David Parkinson, Beryl was the furthest east of a hurricane to form in June and one of only two to do so east of the Caribbean, the other occurring in 1933.

Parkinson expects Beryl to remain south of Jamaica and predicts any US impacts will be at least eight more days away.

According to Brian McNoldy, a tropical meteorologist at the University of Miami, warm water fuels the beryl, and the ocean heat in the deep Atlantic is on record for this time of year.

According to Klotzbach, Beryl is the first recorded June tropical storm east of the tropical Atlantic.

“We must be prepared,” Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley said in a public address late Friday. “You and I know when these things happen, it’s best to plan for the worst and pray for the best.”

He noted that there were thousands of people on the Barbados Sourday Twenty20 World Cup Cricket Final, India beat South Africa in the capital Bridgetown on Saturday. It is considered as the biggest event in cricket.

Some fans, like Shashank Musku, a 33-year-old doctor who lives in Pittsburgh, rushed to change their flights to leave before the storm.

Musk has never experienced a hurricane: “I don’t plan on being in one either.”

Rooting for India, he and his wife found out about Beryl thanks to a taxi driver who mentioned the storm.

Meanwhile, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said in a public address on Saturday that shelters would open Sunday evening as he urged people to prepare. He ordered officials to refuel government vehicles and asked grocery stores and gas stations to stay open ahead of the storm.

“There will be so much urgency … if you have limited hours,” he said, while apologizing earlier for the government’s interruptions to radio stations with storm announcements. “Cricket lovers have to bear with us, we have to give information… it’s life and death.”

Beryl is the second named storm in what is forecast to be a busy hurricane season that runs from June 1 to November 30 in the Atlantic. Earlier this month, Tropical Storm Alberto made landfall in northeastern Mexico with heavy rains, resulting in four deaths.

Lowry noted that only five named storms have formed in the tropical Atlantic east of the Caribbean. Of that, only one hurricane was recorded east of the Caribbean in June.

Mark Spence, manager of a hostel in Barbados, said in a phone interview that he was calm about the approaching storm.

“Tis the season. Storms can hit anytime,” he said. “I’m always ready. There’s always enough food in my house.”

The storm is approaching the southeastern Caribbean, days after the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago reported severe flooding in the capital Port-of-Spain as a result of an unrelated weather event.

Meanwhile, an unnamed storm earlier this June dumped more than 20 inches of rain on parts of South Florida, stranding scores of motorists on flooded streets and pushing water into some homes in low-lying areas.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the season’s first hurricanes typically form in early to mid-August, making it unusual for Beryl to reach hurricane strength. A Report Released last month, NOAA predicted an “above average” hurricane season with 17 to 25 storms, 8 to 13 hurricanes and 4 to 7 major hurricanes and 3 or more categories.

A tropical storm is a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph, while a hurricane is defined A tropical cyclone has maximum sustained winds of 74 mph.

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