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Hurricane Beryl intensifies to category 5, potential impacts

The recent update on the Hurricane Beryl has been reported from reconnaissance aircraft indicate that Beryl continues to strengthen and as of the 11 pm EDT/10 pm CDT advisory, the hurricane is now a 165 mph Category 5 hurricane.

This makes Beryl now the earliest Category 5 hurricane on record beating Hurricane Emily of 2005 by 15 days and 12 hours. Emily became a Category 5 hurricane at 11 pm EDT/10 pm CDT on July 16 of 2005.

It looks like the environmental conditions will gradually become less favourable for Beryl to maintain its extremely powerful hurricane status by late Tuesday. Because of this, it looks likely that Beryl will begin weakening and this will continue when the eye of the hurricane passes just south of Jamaica on Wednesday afternoon and night.

The hurricane will still be close enough to produce hurricane conditions across Jamaica on Wednesday, and all preparations for this hurricane should be done as soon as possible.

The Cayman Islands still look to be just far enough away from the track of Beryl so that the islands will probably see tropical storm conditions Wednesday night into Thursday.

Beyond this, there continues to be quite a bit of uncertainty as to how much Beryl will have weakened by the time it reaches the southern Yucatan Peninsula on Friday morning and model consensus seems to suggest that Beryl may be a tropical storm when it comes ashore on the eastern Yucatan Peninsula on Friday.

Finally, what impacts, if any Beryl might have on the western Gulf Coast remains to be seen. It is still anticipated that the environmental conditions will not be favourable for robust strengthening in the Gulf of Mexico.

This, combined with the effects of land interaction, makes me think that robust strengthening in the Gulf of Mexico is unlikely this weekend. Still, a tropical storm impact somewhere between Tampico, Mexico and Corpus Christi, Texas is definitely a possibility around Sunday or Monday.

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