Tropical Storm Beryl may form in the Atlantic and become a hurricane


Tropical Storm Beryl formed in the eastern Atlantic east of the Windward Islands on Friday evening and could become Hurricane Beryl by Sunday as it moves west. The National Hurricane Center said.

It will become the second named storm of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, formally becoming a tropical storm about 1,100 miles southeast of the Windward Islands at the eastern end of the Caribbean.

Beryl was moving at about 18 mph Maximum sustained wind Winds up to 40 mph, the hurricane center said in an 11 p.m. advisory. The official forecast says it will become a cyclone by Sunday afternoon.

The storm is expected to cross the Windward Islands late Sunday and into Monday morning, bringing heavy rain, hurricane-force winds and the risk of dangerous storm surge and waves. Hurricane and tropical storm watches “will be required for parts of the Windward and South Leeward Islands,” the center said on Saturday.

Barbados and nearby islands could receive 3-6 inches of rain, localized flooding in vulnerable areas, as well as life-threatening surf and rip currents.

A hurricane hunter plane is scheduled to be sent on Sunday to survey the storm.

What is Beryl’s prognosis?

Elsewhere, interests in the central and western Caribbean should monitor the storm’s progress, keeping in mind that the margin of error for forecasts at four or five days out can be very large, the center advised.

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By Sunday evening, as Beryl moves into the Caribbean Sea, its winds could reach 105 mph, according to the official forecast. Atmospheric conditions are generally not favorable for strengthening storms at this point in June, however, and some computer models are “too aggressive” and suggest the storm could become a major hurricane before making landfall, according to the center’s forecast discussion.

As the storm crosses the Caribbean, forecast models still disagree on the storm’s likely path, the center said. For now, the official forecast shows that the center of the cone could be over the Dominican Republic and western Haiti on Tuesday evening, and over Jamaica or eastern Cuba on Wednesday evening.

How unusual is a storm like Beryl?

Only a handful of storms in history have formed over the central or eastern tropical Atlantic earlier this year, according to the Hurricane Center.

If it becomes a hurricane by Sunday afternoon, it would be a record for a hurricane forming in the tropical Atlantic, breaking a record set in 1933, said Bill Klotzbach, senior research scientist at Colorado State University and lead author. Its seasonal hurricane outlook.

Although tropical cyclone activity prior to August 1 has little correlation with overall activity for a season, early activity east of the Lesser Antilles is generally associated with much busier seasons, Klotzbach posted in X.

A week after Tropical Storm Alberto hit northeastern Mexico, triggering massive flooding that killed at least four people, including three children. The storm also drenched Texas’ Gulf Coast and left the coastal town of Surfside Beach, south of Houston, under several feet of water.

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A system moving toward the Gulf of Mexico is a tropical wave in the Atlantic

A low pressure system is in the northwestern Caribbean near the United States and is forecast to move inland over the Yucatan Peninsula on Saturday. As it emerges in the Gulf of Campeche in the southern Gulf of Mexico, conditions will be favorable for further development, the hurricane center said Friday night. The center has listed a 40% chance of growth in the next 48 hours.

Regardless of development, the system is forecast to bring rain and strong winds to parts of Central America and Mexico over the weekend.

In the Atlantic, a tropical wave centered several hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands produces showers and thunderstorms. The system may develop next week as it moves westward at 15 to 20 mph. The system has a 40% chance of additional growth over the next seven days.

Further: List of 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season Storm Names Begins with Alberto and Beryl

Experts predict a busy hurricane season

Beryl is the latest storm expected to be above average for tropical storms and hurricanes.

In May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that this Atlantic hurricane season would produce 17-25 named storms — the most storms NOAA has predicted in its seasonal outlook. According to NOAA, eight to 18 storms are forecast to develop into hurricanes, with four to seven becoming major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater).

National Weather Service Director Ken Graham said at a news conference in May that “all things are in for an active season.” NOAA Director Rick Spinrad said the Atlantic hurricane season is shaping up to be “exceptional” and has an 85% chance of an above-average year.

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The record for most named storms in a season is 30, set in 2020. A typical year averages 14 tropical storms, seven of which become hurricanes, based on weather records from 1991 to 2020.

Contributed by: Doyle Rice, Without it, America Today; Cheryl McCloud, USA TODAY Network-Florida

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