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Beryl transformed into a hurricane near the Caribbean

Photo: Handout Noaa Goes via Agence France-Presse A hurricane warning was issued for Barbados and a hurricane watch was in effect for Saint Lucia, Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Danica Coto – Associated Press in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Published yesterday at 9:26 p.m.

  • Americas

Beryl strengthened into a hurricane Saturday as it tracked toward the southeastern Caribbean, with forecasters warning it could become a major and dangerous storm before reaching Barbados Sunday evening or early Monday.

A major hurricane is considered Category 3 or greater, with winds of at least 110 mph.

As of mid-Saturday afternoon, Beryl was a Category 1 hurricane, marking the easternmost point where a hurricane has formed in the tropical Atlantic in June, according to hurricane researcher Philip Klotzbach. hurricanes at Colorado State University.

A hurricane warning was issued for Barbados and a hurricane watch was in effect for St. Lucia , Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

A tropical storm watch has been issued for Martinique, Dominica and Tobago Island.

Michael Lowry, a Florida-based hurricane expert, posted on the social network Atlantic, not to mention as far east into the deep tropics.” He added that “Beryl is planning in a hurry for the warmest waters on record for the end of June.”

Beryl's center was expected to move to about 45 kilometers south of Barbados, said Sabu Best, director of the island's meteorological service. Forecasters then expected the storm to cross the Caribbean towards Jamaica and possibly Mexico.

The center of Beryl was expected to pass about 45 kilometers to the south. southern Barbados, said Sabu Best, director of the island's weather service.

On Saturday, Beryl was located approximately 1,260 kilometers east-southeast of Barbados, with maximum winds of 100 km/h. It was moving westward at 23 mph.

“Rapid strengthening is now expected,” the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said.

Warm waters feed Beryl, with ocean heat content in the depths of the Atlantic the highest ever recorded for this time of year, according to researcher Brian McNoldy in tropical meteorology at the University of Miami.

Beryl is also the strongest tropical storm on record in June in this far eastern tropical Atlantic, noted Philip Klotzbach, hurricane researcher at Colorado State University.

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

She said thousands of people were in Barbados for the Cricket World Cup final in which India and South Africa will face each other on Saturday, in the capital of Bridgetown.

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“A life or death situation”

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

“There will be a rush […] if you limit opening hours,” he said, apologizing in advance for government interruptions to radio stations to broadcast updates on storms. “Cricket fans need to accept that we have to give information… it’s a life and death situation. »

Beryl is the second named storm in what is expected to be a busy hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30 in the Atlantic. Earlier this month, Tropical Storm Alberto hit northeastern Mexico with heavy rains that left four people dead.

Mr. Lowry said only five named storms formed in the tropical Atlantic east of the Caribbean. Of these, only one hurricane formed in the eastern Caribbean in June.

Mark Spence, a hostel manager in Barbados, said during a telephone interview that he was calm in the face of the coming storm.

“Tis the season. You can have a storm at any time, he said. I am always ready. I always have enough food at home. »

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that the 2024 hurricane season will have between 17 and 25 named storms. The forecast calls for up to 13 hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

In an average Atlantic hurricane season, there are typically 14 named storms, including seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Up to 15 centimeters of rain were expected to fall in Barbados and neighboring islands. A wave warning of up to four meters was in effect. A storm surge of up to two metres was also forecast.

The storm is approaching the southeastern Caribbean just days after Trinidad and Tobago reported significant flooding in its capital, Port of Spain, following a separate weather event.

Caribbean leaders are worried not just about Beryl, but also about a cluster of storms closely tracking its track that have a 70 percent chance of strengthening into a tropical depression by the middle of next week.

Meanwhile, an unnamed storm in early June dumped more than 20 inches of rain on parts of South Florida, leaving many motorists blocked in flooded streets and pushing water towards some houses in low-lying areas.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116