Hurricane Beryl Approaches the Yucatan

Hurricane Beryl was approaching the Yucatan Peninsula on Thursday evening.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Beryl was located at latitude 19.6°N and longitude 85.5°W which put the center about 135 miles (220 km) east-southeast of Tulum, Mexico.  Beryl was moving toward the west at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 135 m.p.h. (220 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 964 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Puerto Costa Maya to Cancun, Mexico.  A Hurricane Warning was also in effect for Cozumel.

A Hurricane Watch was in effect for portion of the coast from Cabo Catoche to Cancun, Mexico.  A Hurricane Watch was also in effect for the portion of the coast from Puerto Costa Maya to Chetumal, Mexico.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Campeche to Cancun, Mexico.   A Tropical Storm Warning was also in effect for the portion of the coast from Puerto Costa Maya to Chetumal, Mexico.

A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Chetumal, Mexico to Belize City, Belize.

After weakening earlier on Thursday, a U.S. Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft found that Hurricane Beryl had strengthened back to a major hurricane on Thursday evening.  The reconnaissance plane found an eye with a diameter of 14 miles (22 km) was at the center of Beryl’s circulation.  The eye was surrounded by a broken ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hurricane Beryl.  Storms near the core of Beryl’s circulation generated more upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the hurricane.  The increase in upper level divergence caused the surface pressure to decrease again.

The size of the circulation around Hurricane Beryl decreased on Thursday.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 30 miles (50 km) from the center of Beryl’s circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 140 miles (225 km) from the center of Hurricane Beryl.

The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Beryl was 20.6.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 9.8 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 30.4.  Hurricane Beryl was similar in size and intensity to Hurricane Sally when Sally hit Alabama in 2020.

Hurricane Beryl will move through an environment that will be somewhat favorable for intensification during the next few hours.  Beryl will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 29°C.  It will move under the southeastern part of an upper level low over Gulf of Mexico.  The upper level low will produce westerly winds that will blow toward the top of Beryl’s circulation.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear.  The wind shear will inhibit intensification, but the shear may not be enough to prevent strengthening  Hurricane Beryl could intensify during the next few hours.

Hurricane Beryl will move around the southern side of a high pressure system that extends over the western Atlantic Ocean and southeastern U.S.  The high pressure system will steer Beryl toward the west-northwest during the next 24 hours.  On its anticipated track, the center of Hurricane Beryl will reach the Yucatan Peninsula on Friday morning.

Hurricane Beryl will be able to cause regional major damage when it reaches the Yucatan Peninsula.  Beryl will bring strong winds and heavy rain to the Yucatan.  Widespread electricity outages are likely.  Heavy rain is likely to cause floods in some locations.  Hurricane Beryl could also cause a storm surge of up to 10 feet (3 meters) where the wind blows the water toward the coast.

 

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