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At least 9 dead as hurricane Beryl approaches Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula

Beryl is the first Atlantic hurricane of the season and drew on the fuel of warm ocean waters to become the earliest Category 4 hurricane on record.
Tropical-Weather
Posted at 5:35 AM, Jul 04, 2024

Hurricane Beryl once again strengthened to a Category 3 storm on Thursday night, moving over warmer open waters toward an expected Friday landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

The storm was roughly 135 miles east-southeast of Tulum, Mexico. It was sustaining winds of 115 mph.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico from Puerto Costa Maya to Cancun, including Cozumel.

The coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico south of Puerto Costa Maya to Chetumal and the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico north of Cancun to Cabo Catoche were under a hurricane watch.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico south of Puerto Costa Maya to Chetumal and for the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico north of Cancun to Campeche.

A tropical storm watch was in effect for the coast of Belize from south of Chetumal to Belize City.

Storm surge was forecast at 3 to 5 feet over ground level for coastal areas within the hurricane warning region.

As much as 10 inches of rain could fall in isolated areas on Friday across the Yucatan Peninsula, with possible instances of flash flooding. Rainfall was expected to diminish across the Cayman Islands at the same time.

A forecast map of Hurricane Beryl on Tuesday, July 2, 2024.
A forecast map of Hurricane Beryl on Tuesday, July 2, 2024.

"Hurricane-force winds, dangerous storm surge, and heavy rainfall are expected over portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize beginning tonight as Beryl approaches that area as a hurricane," the National Hurricane Center said in a statement. "Hurricane and Tropical Storm Warnings are now in effect for portions of that area."

The storm has left at least 9 people dead. At least 1,400 people were still in shelters in Jamaica on Thursday, after Beryl's eyewall grazed the island's southern coast on Wednesday.

Forecasters said there is still considerable uncertainty over Beryl's intensity and track in the coming days. Wind shear is expected to cause the major storm to weaken, but not all computerized forecast models agree on how much of a factor wind shear will be.

Beryl is the first Atlantic hurricane of the season and has drawn on the fuel of warm ocean waters to become the earliest Category 4 hurricane on record.