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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Hurricane Beryl tracking to south of PR as an ‘extremely dangerous’ Category 4 storm

A photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows then-Tropical Storm Beryl on June 29, 2024. Hurricane Beryl developed into a record-breaking Category 4 storm on Sunday, marking the earliest in a season that a storm has reached that strength, as forecasters warned it would continue to rapidly intensify while moving west toward the Caribbean Sea. (NOAA via The New York Times)

By The Star Staff

Hurricane Beryl approached the Windward Islands on Sunday as a dangerous Category 4 hurricane. As of 2 p.m Eastern Standard time, Beryl was moving west near 21 miles per hour (mph) (33 kilometers per hour), according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). A continued quick westward to west-northwestward motion is expected during the next few days. On the forecast track, the center of Beryl was expected to move across the Windward Islands this morning and across the southeastern and central Caribbean Sea late today through Wednesday.

Swells were also expected to reach the southern coasts of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola today. The swells are expected to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Residents are urged to consult updates from their local weather office.

Maximum sustained winds were near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts early Sunday afternoon, the NHC said, calling Beryl an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The storm was expected to remain a category 4 hurricane as it moved through the Windward Islands early today.

At midday Sunday, hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 115 miles (185 km).

Hurricane conditions were expected in the hurricane warning area beginning early Monday morning. Potentially catastrophic wind damage was expected where the eyewall of Beryl moved through portions of the Windward Islands, with the highest risk of the core in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada.

Wind speeds atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains are often up to 30% stronger than the near-surface winds indicated in this advisory, and in some elevated locations could be even greater.

Tropical storm conditions were expected in the tropical storm warning area starting late Sunday night, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

Hurricane Beryl was expected to produce rainfall totals of three to six inches across Barbados and the Windward Islands through today. Localized maxima of 10 inches is possible, especially in the Grenadines, with rain potentially causing flash flooding in vulnerable areas.

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