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NHC: Cat 5 Hurricane Beryl on a Track to Swipe Jamaica Before Losing Strength on Its Way to the Yucatan; No Threat to Florida

Hurricane Beyrl
Hurricane Beyrl

Florida - Tuesday July 2, 2024: Hurricane Beryl strengthened to Category 5 status late Monday after it ripped doors, windows and roofs off homes across the southeastern Caribbean with devastating winds and storm surge fueled by the Atlantic’s record warmth.

Beryl made landfall on the island of Carriacou in Grenada as the earliest Category 4 storm in the Atlantic, then late in the day the National Hurricane Center in Miami said its winds had increased to Category 5 strength.

It reached Category 5 strength late Monday and intensified further early Tuesday morning to 165 mph winds.

Fluctuations in strength, and later a significant weakening, were forecast as the storm pushes further into the Caribbean in the coming days.

Grenada’s Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell said one person had died and he could not yet say if there were other fatalities because authorities had not been able to assess the situation on the islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, where there were initial reports of major damage but communications were largely down.

“We do hope there aren’t any other fatalities or any injuries,” he said. “But bear in mind the challenge we have in Carriacou and Petite Martinique.” Mitchel added that the government will send people first thing Tuesday morning to evaluate the situation on the islands.

Beryl was still swiping the southeast Caribbean early Tuesday on a track heading just south of Jamaica and toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula by late Thursday as a Category 1 storm.

Beryl strengthened from a tropical depression to a major hurricane in just 42 hours, which only six other Atlantic hurricanes have done, with Sept. 1 as the previous earliest date, according to hurricane expert Sam Lillo.

It also was the earliest Category 4 Atlantic hurricane, besting Hurricane Dennis, which became a Category 4 storm on July 8, 2005. Beryl later became the earliest Category 5 observed in the Atlantic basin on record, and only the second Category 5 hurricane in July after Hurricane Emily in 2005. the National Hurricane Center said.

Beryl amassed its strength from record warm waters that are hotter now than they would be at the peak of hurricane season in September, said hurricane specialist and storm surge expert Michael Lowry.


Central Tropical Atlantic - Invest 96-L

A tropical wave located about 1000 miles east-southeast of the Windward Islands is producing limited shower and thunderstorm activity. Environmental conditions are only marginally conducive for development of this system while it moves generally westward at 15 to 20 mph across the western tropical Atlantic and eastern Caribbean Sea. Interests in the Lesser Antilles should still monitor the progress of this system, with heavy rainfall possible midweek.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...20 percent.

* Formation chance through 7 days...low...30 percent.