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Hurricane Beryl moves towards Jamaica on Wednesday

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  • Beryl is likely to have devastating effects on Jamaica on Wednesday.
  • This week there is a danger for the Cayman Islands and the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula.
  • It also poses an increasing threat to the western Gulf Coast – from Texas to Mexico early next week.
  • After devastated the Windard Islands on Monday, Hurricane Beryl reached its earliest Category 5 strength in the Atlantic overnight.

Hurricane Beryl is currently drenching Hispaniola and is on track for a potentially life-threatening impact on Jamaica and the Cayman Islands before facing an uncertain future in the Gulf of Mexico that could also impact Texas.

Current status: Beryl's eyewall continues to move rapidly west-northwestward across the eastern Caribbean, well south of Hispaniola, at Category 4 intensity. However, some bands of heavy rain have extended into the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Beryl was the first hurricane ever to reach Category 5 strength in the Atlantic, more than two weeks earlier than the previous record-setting storm, Emily, on July 16, 2005. Read our full recap of all the records Beryl broke earlier in the season.

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Warnings and observations apply here: A hurricane warning has been issued for Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, and a hurricane warning is currently in effect for southern Hispaniola. More warnings may be issued on Wednesday.

A hurricane warning was issued for much of the east coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Further south, a tropical storm warning was issued as far south as Belize City, Belize.

In areas with hurricane warnings, preparations should be completed quickly. In areas with hurricane watches, hurricane plans should be ready to go.

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(Published by the National Hurricane Center and state governments)

Here’s what you can expect next from Beryl in the Caribbean: Beryl will track west-northwestward over the Caribbean later this week. Although the hurricane will eventually lose intensity due to increasingly hostile wind shear, it still poses a significant threat. Here is the general timeline:

  • Until Wednesday morning: The external effects of Beryl, including torrential rains, some storm surges, and occasional strong winds, will continue to affect southern Hispaniola.
  • Wednesday: Beryl is expected to hit Jamaica with damaging winds, life-threatening storm surges near the coast and torrential rains that will trigger flash floods and landslides before moving away late Wednesday night. This could be the strongest hurricane to hit Jamaica in nearly 17 years, since Hurricane Dean in 2007.
  • Thursday: Beryl is forecast to be the closest hurricane to the Cayman Islands, particularly Grand Cayman, bringing storm surges, strong winds, and heavy rainfall.
  • Friday: Beryl is expected to make landfall as a hurricane on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, somewhere between the Belize border and Costa Maya and Cancun. Storm surges, potentially destructive winds, and torrential rains are all possible.

(​MORE: What the forecast cone means and what it doesn’t)

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Current information and planned course

(The red shaded area indicates the possible path of the tropical cyclone's center. It is important to note that the impacts (particularly heavy rain, high surf, coastal flooding, winds) of a tropical cyclone typically extend beyond its forecast path.)

US concerns: Beryl is likely to be in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico this weekend after being guided by a heat dome of high pressure over the southeastern United States

After that, there is considerable uncertainty about Beryl’s future.

The heat dome in the upper atmosphere in the southeastern United States is expected to weaken and retreat from the southeast coast, creating a gap between it and a heat dome in the western United States.

For this reason, a growing number of computer forecast models suggest that Beryl could eventually drift northwest or north in the western Gulf of Mexico. This raises the possibility that the hurricane could move back and forth between the Gulf Coast of eastern Mexico and Texas early next week.

By the time Beryl reaches the southwestern Gulf, it will likely have lost strength due to wind shear and landfall, but it could still have significant impacts on the Gulf Coast as a tropical storm or hurricane. Some restrengthening is possible.

Residents along the Gulf Coast from eastern Mexico to Texas should monitor weather forecasts for the time being in the coming days.

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Dangers for the coast could begin this weekend: Long before Beryl, offshore winds could cause increased surf, rip currents, and flooding along parts of the Gulf Coast from eastern Mexico to Texas and western Louisiana. This trend will begin as early as Saturday and continue until Beryl finally makes landfall. The rip current threat could extend even farther east along the northern Gulf Coast.

Keep this in mind when planning a weekend beach holiday along these coastlines.

Just a few weeks ago, Tropical Storm Alberto caused significant flooding along the Texas coast.

Looking back at Beryl's historic landing in the Windward Islands

Beryl made landfall over the Grenada island of Carriacou shortly after 11 a.m. EDT on Monday with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph (240 km/h). Beryl was the strongest in terms of wind speed among only two other Category 4 hurricanes in history near Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

(​MORE: How Beryl has already made history)

Storm reports: Storm chasers Brandon Clement and Jonathan Petramala reported that the roof of a building they were covering on the island of Carriacou was ripped off late Monday morning as the eyewall approached. The National Hurricane Center's warning at 11 a.m. EDT Monday cited “multiple reports of downed trees, flooded roads, power outages and storm surge flooding in the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados and Tobago.”

After briefly weakening to Category 3 overnight as a result of an eyewall replacement cycle, the hurricane regained Category 4 strength on Monday morning.

The wind field has grown larger since Sunday, with hurricane-force winds now extending up to 40 miles from the center of Beryl.

As the eyewall passed south of Barbados, a gust of 69 mph was recorded early Monday at Grantley Adams International Airport, the island's largest airport. A wind gust of up to 121 mph was recorded in Grenada as the center of Beryl passed just north of the island. A gust of up to 64 mph was also reported in St. Lucia.

B​eryl has grown stronger since the attack on Carriacou Island.

MORE ON WEATHER.COM

-​ Why the more active phase of the hurricane season could come earlier

-​ How to prepare for hurricane season

-​ The deadliest hurricanes and tropical storms in the US may surprise you