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‘Extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Beryl nears Caribbean, becomes earliest category 4 storm on record

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The US National Hurricane Center reported that Hurricane Beryl, a Category 4 storm classified as “extremely dangerous,” was moving across the Atlantic Ocean towards the Caribbean‘s Windward Islands. The hurricane is anticipated to bring life-threatening winds and flash flooding to the region on Monday.
According to the NHC advisory, Hurricane Beryl was situated approximately 250 miles (400 km) southeast of Barbados on Sunday afternoon, with maximum sustained winds reaching 130 mph (215 kph).The hurricane’s center is expected to pass through the Windward Islands on Monday morning, maintaining its Category 4 status.
The NHC advisory warned, “Potentially catastrophic wind damage is expected where the eyewall of Beryl moves through portions of the Windward Islands, with the highest risk of the core in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada”
It is uncommon for a major hurricane to form this early in the Atlantic hurricane season, which spans from June 1 to November 30. Hurricane Beryl has set a new record, becoming the earliest Category 4 hurricane, surpassing Hurricane Dennis, which reached Category 4 status on July 8, 2005.
Hurricane warnings issued
Several Caribbean islands, including Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadine Islands, Grenada, and Tobago, have been issued hurricane warnings. Dominica, Trinidad, and parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti are under a tropical storm watch. Authorities and residents in the affected areas are making preparations for the storm’s arrival, with Tobago opening shelters, closing schools for Monday, and canceling elective surgeries in hospitals.
The NHC has warned that the hurricane is expected to bring 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 cm) of rain across Barbados and the Windward Islands throughout Monday, potentially causing flash flooding in vulnerable areas. Large, dangerous swells are also anticipated to impact the southern coasts of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.
The hurricane warning also caused uncertainty regarding the return plans of the Indian cricket team who were there for the World Cup final. The severe weather alert has disrupted the scheduled itinerary, with the BCCI actively working on contingency plans to mitigate the potential impact of the hurricane on the return journey.
More storms than usual anticipated
Experts are cautioning that the Atlantic hurricane season in 2024 may be significantly more intense compared to typical years. “Above-normal” activity is anticipated, according to a late May forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which projects 17 to 25 named storms throughout the season.
This outlook aligns with predictions made earlier in the year by various institutions, including universities, private organizations, and government agencies. Typically, an average hurricane season sees around 14 named storms.
The consensus among forecasters suggests that the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season could pose a greater threat than usual, with the potential for a higher number of storms developing and impacting coastal regions.





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