Hurricane Beryl
1 July 2024News

Hurricane Beryl expected to hit Caribbean today

Hurricane Beryl is expected to slam into the Caribbean today as the 2024 hurricane season got off to an exceptionally early start. 

The hurricane’s eye is most at risk of striking Grenada, St. Vincent or the Grenadines beginning early this morning, CNN reported. Beryl is expected to remain a major hurricane as it barrels through the Windward Islands today and continues moving through the Caribbean early this week.

Beryl is the third earliest major Atlantic hurricane recorded and the only Category 4 storm ever recorded in the month of June. By early today, the storm had reduced slightly to a Category 3.

If Beryl regains some of its strength, it is poised to be the strongest storm the area has seen since Hurricane Ivan in 2004, CNN said. 

“I want everybody in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to take this matter very seriously,” Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said. “There are some persons who are hoping for the best, and we must all do that, but we all have to prepare for the worst.”

Beryl was unleashing 120 mph winds and sat about 110 miles southeast of Barbados as of early Monday, according to the National Hurricane Centre. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles.

The National Hurrican Centre warned that “life-threatening storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 6 to 9 feet above normal tide levels” near where Beryl makes landfall. Towering waves could also create life-threatening surf and rip currents and threaten small vessels and fishermen. Flash flooding is also a concern in parts of the Windward Islands and Barbados, where rainfall of 3 to 6 inches is expected through today. Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley warned citizens to be “extremely vigilant.”

Hurricane warnings are in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia, Grenada, Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Martinique and Trinidad, the National Hurricane Centre said. Less severe tropical storm watches are also in place in parts of the Dominican Republic and the southern coast of Haiti, where the storm is expected brush by on Wednesday before moving towards Jamaica. 

Beryl is ushering in an unusually early start to a hurricane season that forecasters have warned will be hyperactive – and Beryl’s record-shattering activity may be a sign of what’s to come.

This season is already off to a busy start as a second storm – Tropical Storm Chris – made landfall near Tuxpan, Mexico, off the Gulf Coast early today.

Beryl’s rapid intensification is very atypical this early into hurricane season, according to National Hurricane Centre Director Mike Brennan. It’s rare for tropical systems to form in the central Atlantic east of the Lesser Antilles in June, particularly strong ones, as only a handful of tropical systems have done so.

Did you get value from this story? Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories like this sent straight to your inbox.