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Beryl barrels toward Jamaica



The centre of Beryl will move rapidly across the central Caribbean Sea and is forecast to pass near or over Jamaica later today. The centre is expected to pass near or over the Cayman Islands tonight or early Thursday and move over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico early Friday.


Maximum sustained winds are near 230 km/h with higher gusts, making Beryl a category 4 hurricane. The storm is expected to weaken over the next day or two. However, Beryl is forecast to be at or near major hurricane intensity while it passes near Jamaica later today and the Cayman Islands tonight or early Thursday.


Hurricane conditions are expected to reach the coast of Jamaica within the warning area around midday. Winds are expected to first reach tropical storm strength later this morning, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous.


Storm surge could raise water levels by as much as 6 to 9 feet above normal tide levels in areas of onshore winds along the immediate coast of Jamaica. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.


Large swells generated by Beryl are impacting the southern coasts of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Jamaica and are expected to impact the Cayman Islands. Swell will continue to affect the Windward and Leeward Islands during the next day or so.


Beryl is expected to produce rainfall totals of 100 to 200 mm, with localized amounts of 300 mm, across Jamaica through this evening along with additional rainfall of 100 to 150 mm over the Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti. This heavy rainfall is expected to cause life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides.


Beryl is expected to produce rainfall totals of 50 to 100 mm with localized amounts of 150 mm over the Cayman Islands tonight into Thursday. Over the Yucatan Peninsula into northern Belize, Beryl is expected to produce rainfall totals of 50 to 150 mm with localized amounts of 200 mm, along with at least localized flash flooding, late Thursday through Friday.

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