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Hurricane Beryl approaches Caribbean’s Windward Islands as Category 3 storm


(NEW YORK) — Hurricane Beryl was on Monday moving westward south of Barbados, approaching the nearby Windward Islands as a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph.

The storm was headed for St. Vincent, Grenadines, Grenada, and Carriacou and Petite Martinique islands. Life-threatening and potentially catastrophic wind, waves and storm surge are expected there. Heavy rain and flooding are also expected.

Beryl over the weekend 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.

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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