Beryl probability

Beryl Becomes Earliest Cat 5 Hurricane Ever

7/2/24 – Beryl has become an incredibly intense hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 165 MPH and a central pressure of 935mb. See this Infrared Satellite Loop at Tropical Tidbits. This is an unprecedented hurricane event for July.

According to Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner, Beryl is the earliest Category 5 hurricane on record since 1851. It beats out hurricane Emily (2005), which became a Category 5 on July 17.

Beryl is now moving through the central Caribbean Sea toward Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

Status Overview as of 8 AM 7/2/24

Based on NOAA aircraft data, hurricane force winds (75mph) extend outward 40 miles from the center. Tropical storm force winds (40mph) extend outward 125 miles from the center.

Beryl is moving toward the west-northwest near 22 mph.

On the forecast track, the center of Beryl will move quickly across the southeastern and central Caribbean Sea today. It should pass near Jamaica on Wednesday and the Cayman Islands on Thursday.

Weakening should begin later today, but Beryl is still expected to be near major hurricane intensity as it passes Jamaica and the Caymans.

Intensity Forecast Uncertain

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) cautions that Beryl’s intensity forecast is rather uncertain. Model guidance indicates that the hurricane will begin to weaken later today as Beryl encounters moderate-to-strong vertical wind shear. Later on, factors such as:

  • Possible interaction with the Jamaican elevated terrain
  • Dry air intrusions
  • Structure of the vertical wind shear

…will all play a role in the rate of weakening.

As Beryl approaches the Yucatan, models show quite a wide range of solutions – from a strong tropical storm to a major hurricane. However, the NHC forecast shows Beryl reaching the Yucatan as a hurricane in about 72 hours and emerging as a tropical storm into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday.

Track Shifted North

Beryl has tracked slightly north of predictions during the last 12 hours. This is likely due to the much stronger intensity of the hurricane.

Overall the direction has been trending north over the last 24 hours. Beryl is being steered by a strong high pressure ridge to the north. A W to WNW motion through the next 72 hours is likely. That will likely bring core of the hurricane to the eastern Yucatan early Friday morning.

Beryl will cross into the southern Gulf of Mexico by early this weekend. At that time, the current ridge of high pressure over the southern plains will be breaking down and moving east. Low pressure should replace it, pulling Beryl a little more to north, compared to the current track.

However, there is also uncertainty with the track in the Gulf of Mexico. It is difficult to tell how organized Beryl will be when it emerges from the Yucatan. It is also difficult to predict how quickly the southern plains high will break down.

Such factors also will affect the forward speed of the hurricane.  

Due to Beryl’s high forward speed, it could drop a foot of rain on Jamaica. But as it slows in the Gulf…

Lindner urges people along the Texas and Louisiana coast to monitor Beryl’s progress closely. NHC is now updating information on Beryl every few hours on this page.

For those who need a refresher course in hurricane preparation, ReduceFlooding’s Links page contains advice from 19 authoritative sources.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/2/24

2499 Days since Hurricane Harvey