Jamaica’s Hurricane Watch upgrades to Warning as Beryl nears

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The National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast track as at 8pm Monday, July 1, 2024. The cone contains the probably path of the storm centre but does not show the size of the storm. (Image: NHC)

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The Hurricane Watch that has been in effect for Jamaica since this morning has now been upgraded to a Hurricane Warning as Category 4 Hurricane Beryl continues to move over the eastern Caribbean on a track towards the island.

The Meteorological Service said in its latest bulletin Monday evening that this means that the following dangerous effects of a hurricane are expected to affect Jamaica in 36 hours or less:

Dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves, even though winds expected may be less than hurricane force, andAverage winds of at least 119 km/h (74 mph).

At 7pm, the eye of Hurricane Beryl was located near latitude 13.4 degrees North, longitude 64.0 degrees West. This is about 925 kilometres (575 miles) east-southeast of Isla Beata, Dominican Republic, or 1,460 kilometres (910 miles) east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica.

Beryl is moving toward the west-northwest near 33 km/h (21 mph). The centre of Beryl will move farther away from the southern Windward Islands tonight and continue westward to west-northwestward during the next few days.

On the forecast track, the centre of Beryl will move across the southeastern and central Caribbean Sea tonight through Tuesday and is forecast to pass near Jamaica on Wednesday.

Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicates that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 250 km/h (155 mph) with higher gusts. Beryl is a strong Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Fluctuations in strength are likely during the next day or so, but Beryl is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane as it moves over the eastern Caribbean. Some weakening is expected in the central Caribbean by midweek, although Beryl is forecast to remain a hurricane.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 65 km (40 miles) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 km (125 miles).

All small craft operators, including fishers from the cays and banks, should by now be in port and areurged to complete their necessary safety precautions without delay.

The Meteorological Service said it will continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Beryl.

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