01 July 2024

Beryl makes historic landfall in Windward Islands as Category 4 hurricane

Beryl continues its trek westward, and has now entered the eastern Caribbean.  The eye of the hurricane passed directly over the tiny island of Carriacou which lies between St. Vincent and Grenada in the southern Windward Islands.  The only other major hurricane that ever passed within 100 miles of Beryl's location on Monday morning was Ivan in September 2004, and that was at Category 3 intensity, making Beryl the first Category 4+ hurricane to pass through these islands in recorded history.  And again, it's only July 1.

It has actually intensified even more since yesterday, reaching peak winds of 150 mph on Monday -- nearly a Category 5 storm -- on July 1.  The previous earliest Category 4 hurricane was Dennis on July 8, 2005 (and the earliest Category 5 is Emily on July 17, 2005).

A long radar loop of the storm passing by Barbados is available at https://bmcnoldy.earth.miami.edu/tropics/radar/.

Beryl is unprecedented and record-breaking in several ways already, and it's only been around for three days.  Now it will spend the next 4 or so days in the Caribbean where the water temperature is as warm as (if not warmer than) what it would be at the peak of the season in mid-September.

Beryl is forecast to be near Jamaica on Wednesday, the Yucatan peninsula on Friday, then the southern Gulf of Mexico on Saturday.  Despite the extremely warm water ahead of it, some stronger vertical wind shear is likely going to knock the intensity down a bit by the time it gets to the central Caribbean in a couple days.  Once it enters the Gulf of Mexico, it's most likely going to continue westward, but there's some support in the model guidance for a gradual north bend which could potentially (though not likely) bring it into Texas.

The feature we've been tracking as Invest 94L was briefly upgraded to Tropical Storm Chris in the Bay of Campeche but has already moved inland into Mexico and dissipated.  It was a named storm for just 12 hours.

The easterly wave right behind Beryl, Invest 96L, has lower prospects for development now than in recent days.  NHC has dropped the odds of formation to 50%, and it looks very disorganized on Monday afternoon.

The next name on the list is Debby.

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