Home Climate Hurricane Beryl, Category 4 Storm, Heads For The Caribbean

Hurricane Beryl, Category 4 Storm, Heads For The Caribbean

New satellite images from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that hurricane Beryl has built into a category 4 storm and is expected to head towards the Caribbean’s Windward Islands.

The ‘extremely dangerous’ storm is likely to bring with it life-threatening winds and flash flooding to many islands in the Caribbean. Hurricane warnings have been issued for Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadine Islands, Grenada and Tobago because of Beryl.

A tropical storm watch has been issued for Dominica, Trinidad, and parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. It is believed that Team India, after lifting the T20 World Cup in Barbados on Saturday, are stuck there since the airport is shut due to Beryl.

Explaining the path of Hurricane Beryl, Michael Brennan, Director of the National Hurricane entre said, “Beryl is going to move through the Windward Islands as we go through the nighttime hours tonight and early through Monday morning. So folks in those islands need to be preparing and getting ready and getting to their safe place tonight where they’re going to ride out the storm. We’re very concerned about the potential for the eyewall, expecting the eyewall to move through the region between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada, bringing the potential for catastrophic winds in the eyewall and that very life-threatening storm surge.”

It’s the first hurricane of this year of the Atlantic hurricane season which runs from June 1 to November 30. But Beryl is the earliest hurricane on record as per the National Hurricane Centre. It beat Hurricane Dennis – a category 4 storm that came on July 8, 2005.

The streets wore a deserted look in places like Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Hectic preparations were underway at shelters and homes. Residents are stocking up on essentials and anything they think they will need during the hurricane. Stores have boarded the exteriors of their shops.

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Schools will be shut on Monday, elective surgeries have been pushed in hospitals and residents in vulnerable areas have been asked to take refuge in shelters. “I’ve already got everything. The windows are already secured, boarded up, everything like that,” said Rob Kennedy, a resident of Barbados. “I’ve got all the water and everything secure in hopes to ensure that the house is secure and everything is fine.”

The hurricane’s eyewall is projected to hit between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada, bringing with it devastating winds estimated at 130 miles per hour. It is expected to be accompanied by 3-6 inches of rain.

So what exactly happens in a category 4 storm?

“You can see things like total roof damage, roofs lifted off of homes, exterior wall collapse, trees uprooted, significant damage and complete destruction of power lines and other infrastructure,” explained Michael Brennan of NHC.

Experts say Beryl will remain a major hurricane at least through mid-week.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has also predicted a higher-than-average hurricane activity in the Atlantic this year.