Hurricane Beryl makes landfall as a life-threatening Category 4 storm



CNN

Hurricane Beryl is hitting the Windward Islands as an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane, bringing violent winds, heavy rains and life-threatening storm surges after making landfall on Monday.

It is the strongest known hurricane to pass through this region, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data dating back to 1851.

Storm Beryl hit the island of Carriacou in the Caribbean Sea shortly after 11:00 a.m. EDT, packing maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. The storm caused power outages, flooded streets and led to flooding in parts of the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados and Tobago on Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Beryl’s arrival marks a very early start to the Atlantic hurricane season. On Sunday, it became the first Category 4 on record in the Atlantic and the only Category 4 in June. Bathtub – warm ocean water The factors that facilitated Beryl’s alarming strengthening are a clear indication that this hurricane season will be far from normal in light of global warming due to fossil fuel pollution.

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Hurricane Beryl is breaking records for June because the ocean is now as warm as it usually is at the height of hurricane season, said Jim Kossin, a hurricane expert and science adviser to the nonprofit First Street Foundation.

“Hurricanes don’t know what month it is, they just know what their environment is,” Kossin told CNN. “Beryl is breaking records for June because Beryl thinks it’s September.”

The ocean heat that powers Brill’s unprecedented power “definitely has a human imprint on it,” Kossin added.

Beryl is a dangerous hurricane: The storm is located near Carriacou Island, part of Grenada, and has sustained winds of 150 mph and is moving west-northwest at 20 mph. Beryl’s hurricane-force winds extend 40 miles from the center while tropical storm force winds extend about 125 miles.

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Life-threatening storms and floods: National Hurricane Center to caution “A life-threatening storm surge will raise water levels 6 to 9 feet above normal tidal levels” when Beryl makes landfall. Towering waves can also cause life-threatening tidal waves that threaten small vessels and fishermen long after they reach land. Flash flooding is also a concern in parts of the Windward Islands and Barbados. Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has warned citizens to be “extremely vigilant”.

• Hurricane warnings: Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Tobago. A hurricane warning is in effect for Jamaica. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Martinique, Trinidad and St. Lucia. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the southern coast of the Dominican Republic from Punta Palenque west to the border with Haiti, and the southern coast of Haiti from the border with the Dominican Republic to Anse de Haino.

Evacuation of hundreds: Ramona Archer Bradshaw, the country’s chief shelter warden, told CNN affiliate CBC News that more than 400 people were sheltering in hurricane shelters across Barbados on Sunday evening. “I’m glad people are using the shelters, and if they’re not comfortable in their homes, they’re better off going to a shelter,” she said.

Ricardo Mazalan/Associated Press

Waves hit palm trees as Hurricane Beryl made landfall in Hastings, Barbados, on Monday.

State of Emergency in Grenada: Grenada’s Governor General Cécile LaGrenade declared a state of emergency that will remain in effect from Sunday night until Tuesday morning. All businesses will have to close except police forces, hospitals, prisons, landfills and ports.

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Airports are closed: Airports in Barbados, Grenada and St. Lucia were closed on Sunday evening as the hurricane approached. Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport was expected to reopen Tuesday morning, an airport spokesman said. Barbados’ Grantley Adams International Airport and St. Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport and George Charles Airport also suspended operations.

Cricket World Cup fans stuck: Barbados is still hosting cricket fans from around the world who have travelled to the island for the T20 World Cup, some of whom will not be able to evacuate before Beryl arrives. “Our visitors are here with us,” said Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley. “Some of them won’t be leaving until Monday and Tuesday, some of them have never been through a hurricane or a storm.” She appealed to residents to support the visitors if they can.

Ricardo Mazalan/Associated Press

Hurricane Beryl caused flooding of a street in Hastings, Barbados, on Monday.

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

Beryl heralds a worrying start to a hurricane season that forecasters have warned will be hyperactive — and Beryl’s record-breaking activity may be a sign of what’s to come.

Beryl is the first major hurricane — defined as a Category 3 or higher — in the Atlantic in 58 years. The storm’s rapid intensification is very unusual this early in a hurricane season, according to National Hurricane Center Director Mike Brennan. It’s rare for tropical systems to form in the central Atlantic east of the Lesser Antilles in June, especially strong ones, as few tropical systems have ever formed. According to NOAA records.

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The storm isn’t just early for the season. It is now the third oldest major hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean. The first was Hurricane Alma on June 8, 1966, followed by Hurricane Audrey, which reached major hurricane status on June 27, 1957.

Hurricane Beryl also set the record for the easternmost hurricane to form in the tropical Atlantic in June, beating the previous record set in 1933.

The central and eastern Atlantic typically become more active in August, in part because ocean temperatures have time to rise and feed developing systems.

However, this year the Atlantic basin has seen higher than normal water temperatures and less wind shear due to the transition from an El Niño to a La Niña season, both of which fuel tropical development.

“Beryl found an environment with very warm ocean waters for this time of year,” Brennan said.

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These systems forming early in the summer in this part of the Atlantic are a sign of an active hurricane season ahead, according to Search from Phil Klotzbach, hurricane expert and research scientist at Colorado State University. Typically, ocean temperatures aren’t warm enough in June and July to help tropical systems thrive.

National Weather Service Predictors predict Of the 17 to 25 named storms this season, as many as 13 of them will become hurricanes.

“This is well above average,” Brennan noted.

CNN’s Monica Jarrett, Jane Norman, Michael Rios, Marlon Sorto, Sandy Sidhu, Melissa Alonso, Isaac Yee, Eric Zirkle, Rachel Ramirez and Brandon Miller contributed to this report.

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