Beryl as Cat 2 Storm

Beryl Expected to Become Category 4 Hurricane

6/30/24, 7 AM CDT – The National Hurricane Center (NHC) now predicts that Hurricane Beryl could rapidly intensify into a Category 4 hurricane before reaching the Windward Islands early Monday morning. At 7 AM CDT, NHC estimated Beryl’s maximum sustained winds at 115 mph. That would currently make it a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, which estimates damage to structures at various wind speeds. (See below.)

High SSTs, Low Wind Shear

Sea surface temperatures in Beryl’s path reach 84.2 degrees Fahrenheit, more typical of August than June. And as Beryl moves westward, wind sheer is decreasing. Both factors favor rapid intensification.

Thus, the latest NHC intensity forecast continues to show rapid intensification over the next day, making Beryl an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane before it reaches the Windward islands.

Once Beryl enters the Caribbean, increasing shear will likely cause the hurricane’s intensity to level off, then start weakening around midweek, according to NHC. 

Eye Wall Development

Recent satellite imagery shows the development of an eye, with cooling cloud tops in the eyewall and a warming eye. 

From National Hurricane Center at 6:20 CDT on 6/30/24

Two Hurricane Hunter aircraft measured the maximum wind speed this morning.

Beryl Continues to Track Mostly Westward

The hurricane is moving slightly north of due west at about 20 mph.  There aren’t any significant track changes from the previous advisory. An extensive mid-level, high-pressure ridge north of Beryl will steer the system westward or west-northwestward for several days. 


Model guidance remains in tight agreement on the forecast track. NHC’s 4 AM Atlantic Standard Time update notes that track prediction is basically an update of the previous one.

The farther out you get, the more models diverge. The average of all models eventually shows the storm moving into the western Gulf.

Category 4 Risks

This is a very serious situation developing for the Windward Islands. Beryl will bring destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, heavy rainfall and flooding for much of the Windward Islands tonight and Monday.

Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale Categories

For those new to the Gulf Coast, the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based only on a hurricane’s maximum sustained wind speed.

This scale does not take into account other potentially deadly hazards such as storm surge, rainfall flooding, and tornadoes.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale estimates potential property damage. While all hurricanes produce life-threatening winds, hurricanes rated Category 3 and higher are known as major hurricanes.

Major hurricanes can cause devastating to catastrophic wind damage and significant loss of life simply due to the strength of their winds.

Hurricanes of all categories can produce deadly storm surge, rain-induced floods, and tornadoes.

CategorySustained WindsTypes of Damage Due to Hurricane Winds
174-95 mph
Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.
296-110 mph
Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.
111-129 mph
Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.
130-156 mph
Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
157 mph or higher
Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
From National Hurricane Center

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/30/24 at 7 AM CDT

2497 Days since Hurricane Harvey