Photo: National Hurricane Center

Photo: National Hurricane Center

The Inertia

Hurricane Beryl is currently bearing down on the southeast Caribbean. It has strengthened an alarming rate, now earning the classification of an “extremely dangerous” category four storm.

Beryl is expected to make landfall in the Windward Islands on Monday morning, passing just south of Barbados before going into the Caribbean Sea on a path towards Jamaica. Though it will weaken by the middle of the week, it is still expected to remain a hurricane when it arrives in Mexico. Hurricane warnings are in effect in Barbados, St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Tobago. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Martinique. A tropical storm watch is in effect in Dominica and Trinidad.

“This is a very dangerous situation,” the National Hurricane Center in Miami told the Associated press. The center predicted potentially catastrophic wind damage where the eye of the storm moves through parts of the Windward Islands. On top of that, rainfall of up to six inches could cause flash flooding in vulnerable areas and a life-threatening storm surge will raise water levels by up to nine feet above normal tide levels, accompanied by large and destructive waves.

In regards to surf, the National Hurricane Center wrote, “Large swells generated by Beryl are expected across Windward and southern Leeward Islands during the next couple of days. Swells are also expected to reach the southern coasts of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola in the next day or so. These swells are expected to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”

The rate at which Beryl has strengthened has been remarkable. On Sunday morning the storm was a category three and it only took 42 hours to upgrade to four, which has only occurred six other times in Atlantic hurricane history. It is also the first major hurricane east of the Lesser Antilles on record for June.

“Beryl is an extremely dangerous and rare hurricane for this time of year in this area,” hurricane specialist and storm surge expert Michael Lowry told the Associated Press. “Unusual is an understatement. Beryl is already a historic hurricane and it hasn’t struck yet.”

According to the NOAA, this hurricane season is likely to be far above average, with 17 to 25 named storms. As many as 13 of them will be hurricanes and four of those major hurricanes.


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.