Beryl Becomes Earliest Category 4 Atlantic Hurricane on Record

Dangerous winds and storm surges are expected in some areas of the Caribbean.

On Sunday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said that hurricane Beryl grew into an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane, making it the earliest Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic on record.

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On average, the first hurricane of the Atlantic season forms in the second week of August. Previously, Hurricane Dennis held the record, which became a Category 4 Atlantic hurricane on July 8, 2005.

Beryl is expected to bring “life-threatening” winds and storm surge to the Caribbean islands on early Monday.

As of late Sunday afternoon, the rapidly developing storm reached maximum sustained winds of 130 mph as it moved toward the Windward Islands.

Our thoughts are with Caribbean islands bracing for hurricane #Beryl. Stay safe ❤️

We have never seen such a STRONG hurricane this EARLY in the season.

Big oil and gas corporations are worsening extreme weather disasters. They must be held to account.

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It is expected to move across the Caribbean and toward the northwestern region of the sea, affecting the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

It took Beryl only 42 hours to strengthen from a tropical depression to a major hurricane. That level of rapid intensification has never happened in June.

“This level of rapid intensification is rare any time of the year, and previously hadn’t been achieved before mid-August,” said Sam Lillo, a meteorologist with the forecasting group DTN.

In a report released last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that the Atlantic hurricane season in 2024 will be “above average,” with 17 to 25 storms, eight to 13 hurricanes and four to seven major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher. 

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