Beryl’s historic milestone raises forecasters’ concerns

Beryl Shatters Expectations for Early Hurricanes

Beryl, an early season hurricane, has experts worried about what’s next. Normally, early storms don’t predict the rest of the season since conditions for strong hurricanes aren’t ready yet. However, Beryl defied this norm.

Category 5 Hurricane Beryl churns in the Caribbean Sea on Tuesday, July 2, 2024. CNN Stormbot

Unusual Early Strength

Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane expert at Colorado State University, explained that early-season storms typically don’t indicate future activity. But strong storms in the tropical Atlantic and eastern Caribbean often signal a busy season ahead. The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season usually starts in mid-August, but Beryl, forming in late June, acted like a September hurricane due to unusually warm waters.

Warm Waters Fuel Intensity

Warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic, linked to climate change, are fueling stronger storms. Beryl intensified rapidly, with its winds increasing by 65 mph in 24 hours, the fastest ever this early in the season. Mona Hemmati from Columbia University noted that Beryl’s rapid intensification reflects the extreme weather events expected in a warming world.

Record-Breaking Performance

Beryl became the earliest Category 5 hurricane on record in the Atlantic. Its unprecedented strength led experts to predict a hyperactive hurricane season. Klotzbach’s team at Colorado State now forecasts 25 named storms, including 12 hurricanes, with six becoming major hurricanes of at least Category 3 strength.

Factors Influencing the Season

The forecast also considers a developing La Niña, which reduces wind shear over the Atlantic. Wind shear can disrupt or prevent storms from forming. Without it, more storms could develop and strengthen, as Beryl did.

Temporary Pause in Activity

Currently, a brief pause in Atlantic tropical activity is expected due to dry, dusty air from the Sahara and some wind shear. This dry air can reach the United States, creating stunning sunsets but hindering tropical storms by cutting off their moisture supply.

Looking Ahead

The big question is when the break will end, and the busiest part of the season will begin. Klotzbach suggests that activity could pick up later in July or wait until August, depending on atmospheric conditions. Regardless, with extremely warm ocean water, Beryl has shown that this hurricane season could be prolific

Re-reported from the article originally published in CNN.

Beryl’s historic milestone raises forecasters’ concerns

Beryl Shatters Expectations for Early Hurricanes

Beryl, an early season hurricane, has experts worried about what’s next. Normally, early storms don’t predict the rest of the season since conditions for strong hurricanes aren’t ready yet. However, Beryl defied this norm.

Category 5 Hurricane Beryl churns in the Caribbean Sea on Tuesday, July 2, 2024. CNN Stormbot

Unusual Early Strength

Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane expert at Colorado State University, explained that early-season storms typically don’t indicate future activity. But strong storms in the tropical Atlantic and eastern Caribbean often signal a busy season ahead. The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season usually starts in mid-August, but Beryl, forming in late June, acted like a September hurricane due to unusually warm waters.

Warm Waters Fuel Intensity

Warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic, linked to climate change, are fueling stronger storms. Beryl intensified rapidly, with its winds increasing by 65 mph in 24 hours, the fastest ever this early in the season. Mona Hemmati from Columbia University noted that Beryl’s rapid intensification reflects the extreme weather events expected in a warming world.

Record-Breaking Performance

Beryl became the earliest Category 5 hurricane on record in the Atlantic. Its unprecedented strength led experts to predict a hyperactive hurricane season. Klotzbach’s team at Colorado State now forecasts 25 named storms, including 12 hurricanes, with six becoming major hurricanes of at least Category 3 strength.

Factors Influencing the Season

The forecast also considers a developing La Niña, which reduces wind shear over the Atlantic. Wind shear can disrupt or prevent storms from forming. Without it, more storms could develop and strengthen, as Beryl did.

Temporary Pause in Activity

Currently, a brief pause in Atlantic tropical activity is expected due to dry, dusty air from the Sahara and some wind shear. This dry air can reach the United States, creating stunning sunsets but hindering tropical storms by cutting off their moisture supply.

Looking Ahead

The big question is when the break will end, and the busiest part of the season will begin. Klotzbach suggests that activity could pick up later in July or wait until August, depending on atmospheric conditions. Regardless, with extremely warm ocean water, Beryl has shown that this hurricane season could be prolific

Re-reported from the article originally published in CNN.