Home » Latest Hurricane Beryl updates, forecast as it moves toward Jamaica

Latest Hurricane Beryl updates, forecast as it moves toward Jamaica

by ballyhooglobal.com
0 comment

Hurricane Beryl is on a final approach toward Jamaica, where impacts could begin by early afternoon.

Currently a Category 4 storm, it’s expected to bring “devastating hurricane-force winds, life-threatening storm surge, and damaging waves” to the island before continuing west through the Caribbean, according to the National Hurricane Center. Beryl could be the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Jamaica since Gilbert in 1988.

The hurricane center is also warning of “life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides” due to heavy rains there and in southern Haiti. Even if Beryl’s center doesn’t make landfall, onshore winds along Jamaica’s south coast could drive serious storm surge of 6 to 9 feet. Hurricane warnings are in effect there and in the Cayman Islands.

The hurricane continues movement west after making landfall Monday on Grenada’s Carriacou Island. Officials were beginning to assess the extent of the destruction, especially on smaller and hard-hit islands, including Carriacou and Petite Martinique. As of Tuesday, some roads were impassable. Grenadian Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell said at least three people were killed, and the toll could rise. In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said the storm had left “immense destruction, pain and suffering” and it was reported that at least one person died.

Hurricane watches cover parts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic and have been issued along the east coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula from Chetumal to Cabo Catoche. Beryl is expected to hit the area as a Category 1 or 2 storm into Friday before emerging over the Bay of Campeche or the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

From there, forecasts are more uncertain, with numerous possibilities for Beryl’s future track. Anything from a weak tropical storm landfall in Veracruz or Tamaulipas in Mexico to a major hurricane reaching Texas is on the table. For now, it’s a game of waiting, watching and staying vigilant.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, the center of Beryl was located 125 miles southeast of Kingstown, Jamaica, and was moving west-northwest at 20 mph. That means Jamaica will be hit by early afternoon. Maximum sustained winds in the eyewall were estimated at 145 mph, making Beryl a solid Category 4 hurricane.

If we look “under the hood” using microwave satellite imagery, we can see the southern eyewall is open. That said, the northern eyewall, which is more likely to skim along the southern edge of Jamaica, will contain winds gusting 100 to 130 mph. It will be a nail biter, since hurricane-force winds extend outward 45 miles from the center.

Moreover, winds will begin out of the southeast. That will likely push water against the coast, leading to a storm surge of 6 to 9 feet.

Inland heavy rains, meanwhile, could trigger flash flooding and mudslides, which could sever routes into rural inland communities in the higher terrain. A few double-digit rain totals are possible.

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is only just beginning, and already Beryl has claimed a number of records in what has been a display of historical significance. The storm became the earliest-forming Category 5 on record in the Atlantic, beating out Hurricane Emily, which reached Category 5 strength on July 17, 2005.

Beryl was also the farthest-south Category 4 storm on record when it intensified over the weekend, and the most quickly strengthening storm observed in the Atlantic anytime before September; it lurched from a tropical depression to a Category 4 in just 48 hours.

While favorable meteorological conditions — like weak upper-level winds, the presence of a tropical wave and divergence, or spreading of air aloft — all combined to create the storm, its intensity is to some extent linked to our changing climate.

Water temperatures, which are running 3 or 4 degrees above average, are more reminiscent of early September than late June or early July. That has fueled Beryl’s exceptional intensity and breakneck strengthening, and fits into a well-researched pattern of more intense, and more rapidly-intensifying, hurricanes.

Where Beryl is headed next

Beryl will continue drifting west over the coming days, likely bound for the Yucatán Peninsula. An impact somewhere south of Cancún is likely Thursday night into Friday. By then, Beryl will probably be a Category 1 or 2 hurricane.

Beryl will be battling increasing shear in the next 36 hours, which will work to quickly weaken the system. That will be counteracted by exceptionally warm sea surface temperatures, which will continue to invigorate the system. The net result will likely be only gradual weakening, and a still-formidable impact in Mexico.

Will Beryl reach the Gulf of Mexico or the United States?

By Friday afternoon, Beryl is expected to emerge into the Bay of Campeche or the southwest Gulf of Mexico. That’s when forecast confidence drops off markedly.

If Beryl is a weak system, it will be inclined to continue heading west, probably making landfall over the weekend in Tamaulipas, Mexico. If Beryl remains stronger, however, which would be the result of a briefer interaction with the Yucatán, then it could take a more northerly track. That could take the storm over the western Gulf.

If the latter scenario occurs, the storm could strengthen and perhaps rapidly intensify Saturday into Sunday, fueled by very warm sea surface temperatures, calm upper-level winds and high pressure aloft, which would result in spreading air that would vacuum surface air upward.

The threat of a landfall in Texas is a very real possibility, though Mexico remains favored at this point.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Adblock Detected

Please support us by disabling your AdBlocker extension from your browsers for our website.