Storm Beryl makes landfall as a life-threatening Category 4 storm



CNN

Hurricane Beryl roared through the Windward Islands as a very dangerous Category 4, delivering violent winds, heavy rain and life-threatening storm surge after making landfall on Monday.

Just after 11:00 a.m. EDT, Grenada’s Cariaco Island in the Caribbean Sea had maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. According to NOAA data dating back to 1851, it was the strongest hurricane to pass through the Grenadines.

The storm knocked out power, flooded streets and caused flooding in parts of the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados and Tobago on Monday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Beryl’s arrival marks an exceptionally early start to the Atlantic hurricane season. On Sunday it became the first Type 4 recorded in the Atlantic Ocean and the only Type 4 in June. The Unusually warm sea water Berylline’s alarming reinforcements are a clear indicator that this hurricane season will be far from normal due to global warming due to fossil fuel pollution.

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Beryl is breaking records for June because the ocean is now warm enough to be at the height of a hurricane, said Jim Gossin, a hurricane expert and science advisor for the nonprofit First Street Foundation.

“Hurricanes don’t know what month it is, they only know what their surroundings are,” Kosin told CNN. “Beryl breaks records for June because Beryl thinks it’s September.”

Kosin said the unprecedented strengthening of beryl “definitely has a human fingerprint on them” fueling ocean warming.

Beryl is a dangerous cyclone: The storm was located near the island of Cariaco, part of Grenada, with sustained winds of 150 mph and moving west-northwest at 20 mph. Beryl’s hurricane-force winds extend up to 40 miles from the center, while tropical-storm-force winds extend about 125 miles.

Life-threatening storms and floods: National Hurricane Center warned When Beryl made landfall, “a life-threatening storm surge could raise water levels 6 to 9 feet above normal tide levels”. High waves can create life-threatening surf and rip currents and threaten small vessels and fishermen after a landslide. Flash flooding is also a concern in the Windward Islands and parts of Barbados. Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Motley has warned citizens to “be very vigilant”.

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• Cyclone Warnings: Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Tobago. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Jamaica. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Martinique, Trinidad and St. Lucia. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the southern coast of the Dominican Republic from Punta Palenque west to the border with Haiti, and for the southern coast of Haiti from the border with the Dominican Republic to Anse-d’Hainault.

Hundreds were evacuated: More than 400 people were staying in hurricane shelters across Barbados Sunday night, the country’s chief shelter warden, Ramona Archer-Bradshaw, told CNN affiliate CBC News. “I’m glad people are using shelters, if they’re not comfortable in their homes, it’s better to go to a shelter,” she said.

Ricardo Mazalan/AP

Hurricane Beryl flooded a street in Hastings, Barbados on Monday.

Ricardo Mazalan/AP

Waves batter palm trees as Hurricane Beryl hits Hastings on Monday.

State of Emergency in Grenada: Grenadian Governor General Cecile La Grenade has declared a state of emergency, which will be in effect from Sunday night until Tuesday morning. All businesses should be closed except for the police force, hospitals, prisons, waste disposal and ports.

Airports closed: Airports in Barbados, Grenada and St Lucia were closed on Sunday night as Beryl approached. Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport is expected to reopen Tuesday morning, a spokeswoman said. Barbados’ Grantley Adams International Airport and St. Lucia’s Hevanora International and George Charles Airports have also suspended operations.

World Cup cricket fans are stuck: Barbados is still playing host to cricket fans from around the world who have visited the island for the T20 World Cup, some of whom won’t be able to leave before Peril arrives. “Our visitors are with us,” Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Motley said. “Some of them didn’t leave until Monday and Tuesday, and some of them have never experienced a hurricane or storm before.” She asked residents to offer support to visitors if possible.

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The landslide is far from the end of Beryl’s story, and its long-term trajectory remains uncertain.

The hurricane will generally track west or northwest in the Caribbean until Thursday, and is expected to become a major hurricane — Category 3 or stronger — by midweek before losing a bit of strength.

Even so, the hurricane will continue to extend beyond its center over much of the Caribbean, with strong winds, heavy rain and dangerous seas. Beryl’s center passed south of Jamaica on Wednesday and, even if it did not make landfall there, could have severe impacts for the country.

CNN Weather

Each line represents a different forecast model, predicting where Beryl could track over the weekend. The space between the lines shows how much uncertainty there is in Beryl’s path — the more space, the more uncertainty. Its path after making landfall in the Yucatan is very uncertain.

Several days will elapse between Beryl’s first landfall in the Windward Islands on Monday and its next landfall on or around Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Friday morning.

What happens after Beryl’s next landfall will also determine whether the hurricane can reach the Gulf of Mexico by the end of the week. If Beryl continues its journey and manages to reach the bathtub-warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, it could spell trouble for northeastern Mexico or the US Gulf Coast.

The season has already gotten off to a busy start with a second storm — Tropical Storm Chris — approaching Tuxpan, Mexico, off the Gulf Coast early Monday.

Beryl is off to a troubling start to a hurricane season that forecasters warn will be high-speed — and Beryl’s record-shattering activity could be a sign of what’s to come.

Beryl was the first major hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean in 58 years – defined as a Category 3 or higher. According to National Hurricane Center Director Mike Brennan, the storm’s rapid intensity is unusual for this early in the hurricane season. Tropical systems in the mid-Atlantic east of the Lesser Antilles in June are rare, particularly strong ones, and only a few tropical systems have done so. According to NOAA records.

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Storm didn’t start this season. It is now the third largest hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean. The first was Hurricane Alma on June 8, 1966, followed by Hurricane Audrey, which reached major hurricane status on June 27, 1957.

Beryl also holds the record for the most easterly hurricane formed in the tropical Atlantic in June, breaking the previous record set in 1933.

The central and eastern Atlantic traditionally become more active in August as ocean temperatures warm and have time for fuel-growing systems.

This year, however, the Atlantic basin saw higher than normal water temperatures and a lack of wind due to the transition from El Niño to La Niña, both of which fuel tropical growth.

“Beryl found an environment with very warm ocean water at this time of year,” Brennan said.

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Early summer systems in this part of the Atlantic are a sign of an upcoming high-speed hurricane season. Research from Phil Klotzbach is a hurricane expert and research scientist at Colorado State University. In general, ocean temperatures in June and July are not warm enough to allow tropical systems to thrive.

National Weather Service Forecasters predicted Between 17 and 25 storms have been named this season, with 13 becoming hurricanes.

“That’s above average,” Brennan noted.

CNN’s Monica Garrett, Gene Norman, Michael Rios, Marlon Sordo, Sandy Sidhu, Melissa Alonso, Isaac Yee, Eric Jerkel, Rachel Ramirez and Brandon Miller contributed to this report.

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