Hurricane Beryl heads toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, could grow stronger

by Admin
Hurricane Beryl heads toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, could grow stronger

After hours of heavy rains and winds that left a path of destruction in Jamaica, Hurricane Beryl is headed toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the National Hurricane Center said late Thursday afternoon.

Beryl is expected to bring strong winds, a dangerous storm surge and damaging waves to the Yucatan Peninsula when it makes landfall early Friday, according to the NHC.

Forecasters say Beryl is set to move over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Friday night and then move northwestward across the Gulf on Saturday. The NHC warned that Beryl will likely experience “slow re-intensification” as it moves over the Gulf.

Beryl struck the Cayman Islands early Thursday, bringing heavy rains and strong winds as it moved away from Jamaica and toward the Yucatan Peninsula.

The storm has killed at least 10 people, but officials say the death toll may increase as communication is restored on the islands in its wake.

As the eye of the storm brushed the Jamaican coast, the hurricane knocked out power and tore off roofs from some homes. It also downed trees and utility poles and left at least one person dead.

Hurricane Beryl moved away from Jamaica early on Thursday. At last report, the Category 2 hurricane was 295 kilometers east-southeast of Tulum, Mexico, on Thursday afternoon, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Forecasters said they expect the storm to weaken some before it reaches the Mexican coast but still be at hurricane strength.

Hurricane warnings were posted from Puerto Costa Maya to Cancun ahead of the storm’s arrival.

The NHC said Beryl had maximum sustained winds of 185 kph early Thursday.

Forecasters warned that storm surge could bring water levels 1.2-1.8 meters above ground level in the Yucatan, along with 10-15 centimeters of rain.

After reemerging into the Gulf of Mexico, the storm could make landfall in northeastern Mexico or in the southern part of the U.S. state of Texas by late Sunday.

Hurricane Beryl brought destruction to Grenada and Carriacou, where three people were reported killed. Three others were killed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as the storm hit there, while three people were killed in northern Venezuela.

Beryl grew from a tropical storm to a major hurricane in 42 hours, which has only happened six times in the recorded history of Atlantic hurricanes. The hurricane is also the earliest to reach Category 4 status in the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. It was also the earliest to reach Category 5 strength.

Beryl is the second named storm in the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season. Tropical Storm Alberto hit northeastern Mexico in June, killing four people.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has warned of an above average hurricane season.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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