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Officials warn that Beryl has now become a hurricane and will bring “life-threatening winds”


Tropical Storm Beryl It was officially upgraded to Hurricane Beryl on Saturday afternoon.has been gaining strength since forming late Friday night, with sustained winds reaching 75 mph with higher gusts.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Saturday that Hurricane Beryl is expected to bring “life-threatening winds and storm surge” to the Windward Islands, southeast of Puerto Rico and northern Venezuela, as it continues to move west. Forecasters said winds could reach as high as 30 percent in the islands’ high elevations.

A hurricane warning was issued for Barbados, and several other Caribbean islands were also under hurricane watches, including St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada. Martinique, Dominica, and Tobago were under tropical storm watches.

A hurricane warning means that a hurricane is expected to develop in the specified area within 36 hours and people should make all storm preparations, including evacuating if directed by local officials. Hurricane Warning It said a hurricane was possible within 48 hours and residents should be prepared for it.

Forecasters predict beryl Will hit St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be hit by strong winds on Monday, expected to reach the capital, Kingston, by 8 a.m. local time.

Some computer weather models show the storm could strengthen into a major hurricane, a Category 3 or higher.

Earlier this year, only three storms in the North Atlantic reached Category 3 strength: Alma in 1966, Audrey in 1957 and an unnamed storm in 1916, according to NOAA records.

All of the hurricanes made landfall on the U.S. coastline in the Gulf of Mexico: Alma made landfall near St. Marks, Florida, Audrey near Port Arthur, Texas, and the 1916 hurricane made landfall near Mobile, Alabama.

By Friday night, the system was upgraded to Tropical Storm Beryl, with sustained winds of 39 mph. The storm will be upgraded to a hurricane when winds reach 74 mph.

It’s unusual to have a named storm so eastern in the Atlantic in June, John Cangialosi, a forecaster at the National Hurricane Center, wrote in a Friday forecast.

“Historically, only a few storms have formed early in the year in the central or eastern tropical Atlantic,” he wrote.

  • Forecasters said high surf from Hurricane Beryl was expected to reach the southern Windward and Leeward Islands on Sunday night, potentially causing life-threatening surf and rip currents.

  • The storm is expected to move across the eastern Caribbean islands as early as Sunday night and across the central Caribbean by the middle of the week.

  • From Sunday into Monday, the eastern Caribbean islands, including Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, could see 3 to 6 inches of rain, hurricane-force winds and dangerous storm surges.

  • There is considerable uncertainty in forecasting the storm’s path, especially beyond three days.

Forecasters warn that the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season could be more active than usual.

At the end of May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 17 to 25 named storms are expected this year, The figure is “above normal” and consistent with more than a dozen forecasts made earlier this year by experts from universities, private companies and government agencies.

An average hurricane season produces 14 named storms.

Seasonal hurricane forecasts are particularly aggressive because forecasters see a combination of conditions at the start of the season that have not existed in records since the mid-1800s: record warm water temperatures in the Atlantic and the possible development of a La Nina weather pattern.

La Nina occurs in the Pacific Ocean due to changes in sea temperature, which affects weather patterns around the world.

When it is strong, it generally brings calm conditions to the Atlantic Ocean. This allows storms to form and intensify more easily without interference from wind directions that might otherwise prevent storms from forming.

John Yoonand John Keefe Contributed reporting.

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