Hurricane Beryl Continues to Strengthen as It Closes in on the Windward Islands

Hurricane Beryl Continues to Strengthen as It Closes in on the Windward Islands

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Hurricane Beryl is closing on the Windward Islands and in particular Grenada and St. Vincent with life-threatening winds and storm surge on Monday.

The Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) correspondent in Grenada, Linda Straker, said that “right now it is raining with thunder and lightning…it is not the  thunder as yet.

“The streets are deserted,” she added.

Grenada has declared a state of emergency (SOE) that will be in place for the next seven days as the population gears for the passage of the storm, the first named hurricane of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has already warned that many roofs will be destroyed, the CMC correspondent there, Kenton Chance said while “the winds have not picked up as yet, there is no rain.

‘But I am taking it seriously,” he added.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) in its latest bulletin on Monday said that the hurricane is about 125 miles east south east of Grenada and 140 miles, south east of St. Vincent.

It has maximum sustained winds o 120 miles per hour (mph) and is moving forward at 20 mph.

“A continued quick westward to west-northwestward motion is expected during the next few days. On the forecast track, the center of Beryl is expected to move across the Windward Islands this morning and across the southeastern and central Caribbean Sea late today through Wednesday.”

The NHC said that Beryl is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale and that fluctuations in strength are likely during the next day or so.

“But Beryl is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane as its core moves through the Windward Islands into the eastern Caribbean.  Some weakening is expected in

the central Caribbean by midweek, though Beryl is forecast to remain a hurricane,” it added.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadine Islands,  Grenada and Tobago, while a tropical storm warning remains in effect for  Martinique and  Trinidad.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for Dominica, south coast of Dominican Republic from Punta Palenque westward to the border with Haiti, south coast of Haiti from the border with the Dominican Republic to Anse d’Hainaul.

The NHC said that hurricane conditions are expected in the hurricane warning area beginning early this morning, adding “potentially catastrophic wind damage is expected where the core of Beryl moves through portions of the Windward Islands, with the highest risk of the core in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada.

Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area starting this morning for Dominica, and by Tuesday afternoon for parts of the southern coast of Hispaniola.

A life-threatening storm surge will raise water levels by as much as six to nine feet above normal tide levels in areas of onshore winds near where the eye makes landfall in the hurricane warning area.  Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Hurricane Beryl is expected to produce rainfall totals of three to six inches across Barbados and the Windward Islands through this afternoon. Localized maxima of 10 inches are possible, especially in the Grenadines and Grenada.

“This rainfall may cause flash flooding in vulnerable areas.,” the NHC added.