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Hurricane Beryl sets record for early season strength

Hurricane Beryl has reached category four strength at a record early date as it heads for the Caribbean Windward Islands. 

Colorado State University Department of Atmospheric Science senior research scientist Phil Klotzbach says in a post on X that the Atlantic record for the earliest category four hurricane was previously held by Dennis, which gained the intensity level on July 8 2005. 

Beryl, the first hurricane of the season, is expected to remain at category four strength as it reaches the Windward Islands on Monday morning local time, with potentially catastrophic winds and a life-threatening storm surge, the US National Hurricane Centre says 

A hurricane warning is in effect for Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadine Islands, Grenada and Tobago. Beryl is likely to remain an “extremely dangerous” major hurricane as it moves across the Caribbean Sea this week. 

Colorado State University researchers last month maintained a prediction for an “extremely active” hurricane season, reflecting very warm sea surface temperatures in the tropical and eastern subtropical Atlantic.  

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in May that there is a significant chance of a strong season, with as many as seven category 3-plus storms predicted. 

The Atlantic season runs from June 1 to November 30.