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Hurricane Beryl slams Carriacou Island as a major Category 4 storm


Hurricane Beryl slams Carriacou Island as a major Category 4 storm

ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Hurricane Beryl regained its Category 4 status as it slammed into Carriacou Island with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph.

Beryl made landfall in Carriacou at 11:10 a.m. ET as an “extremely dangerous” storm, according to the National Hurricane Center. The cyclone hit Carriacou with maximum winds that were just 5 mph short of Category 5 status, the most powerful hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.

Before making landfall, the storm was gaining strength as it headed toward the Windward Islands — which also include Grenada, St. Vincent, Grenadines and Petite Martinique islands. Life-threatening and potentially catastrophic wind, waves and storm surges are expected there. Heavy rain and flooding are also forecast.

Over the weekend, Beryl went from a tropical depression to a major Category 4 hurricane in just 48 hours, becoming the earliest Category 4 on record for the Atlantic Basin, breaking the record Hurricane Dennis held from July 7, 2005. Beryl is the first Category 4 ever recorded in the month of June.

The hurricane was downgraded Sunday evening to a Category 3, but picked up power and speed over warm ocean water and was upgraded to Category 4 Monday morning.

Ocean temperatures in the area where Beryl is located are 2 to 3 degrees above normal for this time of the year. Such temperatures are usually not seen until September.

Beryl is moving west at 20 mph. Some fluctuations of strength are expected but Beryl is forecast to remain at major status through the day as it passes the Windward Islands. A life-threatening storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 6 to 9 feet above normal tide levels in areas of onshore winds near where the eye makes landfall in the hurricane warning area. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Beryl is expected to produce rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches across Barbados and the Windward Islands through this afternoon. Localized maxima of 10 inches are possible, especially in the Grenadines and Grenada. This rainfall may cause flash flooding in vulnerable areas.

Beryl will continue to track toward Jamaica, reaching near the island on Wednesday. Even if Beryl doesn’t make a direct landfall in Jamaica it will be close enough to cause issues.

After that, Beryl will move over the Yucatan Peninsula and then likely into eastern Mexico after another stint in the Gulf.

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