Hurricane Beryl strengthens into dangerous major Category 4 storm: NHC

Hurricane Beryl has now become a historic storm as it reached major status Sunday morning as a Category 4 storm hundreds of miles east of Barbados. This is only the third major hurricane to form in the month of June on record. 

It remains on track to threaten the Windward Islands of Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Lucia. Life-threatening winds and storm surge is possible by early Monday for these islands. It is then forecast to move into the Caribbean and continue northwestward as a strong hurricane. 

Hurricane Beryl is located about 355 miles east-southeast of Barbados, moving at 21 mph with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph. 

Most models keep it south of the Greater Antilles, but forecast it to reach Jamaica and the Caymans by late Wednesday/Thursday as a Category 2 hurricane. Wind shear should help weaken it some the farther west it goes with potential for hurricane impacts in the Yucatan. 

In the longer range, there is potential for it to continue into the Bay of Campeche and strengthen again. It is too soon to say where it will go, but those along the Gulf coast from Louisiana to Texas should watch it closely.

Hurricane warnings

Several islands in the Caribbean are under hurricane warnings and watches including Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadine Islands, Grenada, and Tobago. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Martinique and a tropical storm watch is in effect for Dominica and Trinidad.

Invest 96L track

Meanwhile, just behind Beryl, another tropical wave (96L) has a decent chance to become another named system and may become "Chris" sometime late this week. It is forecast to follow the path of Beryl. Models indicate it could also become a hurricane and threaten the Lesser Antilles by next weekend.

Another disturbance in the western Caribbean will drift into Mexico early Monday with little fanfare other than more rain. It has a small window to become a tropical depression. Overall, our summer wet season is in full swing and earlier forecasts for an extremely busy hurricane season are in the early stages of coming to fruition.