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Texas braces for impact as Beryl regains hurricane speeds

Tropical Storm Beryl is expected to regain hurricane strength and generate a dangerous storm surge, flash flooding and strong wind as it crosses the Texas coastline.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the coast from Mesquite Bay to Port Bolivar, near Houston, and residents of Harris County were urged to remain inside from midnight to noon on Monday, local time.

“On the forecast track, the centre of Beryl is expected to make landfall on the middle-Texas coast early Monday,” the National Hurricane Centre said in a public advisory. “Beryl is forecast to turn north-eastward and move further inland over eastern Texas and Arkansas late Monday and Tuesday.”

Beryl became the first major hurricane of the Atlantic season when it formed late last month. It reached category 4 strength, and then category 5, at record early dates.

Moody’s RMS says it took Beryl just 48 hours to intensify from a tropical depression to category 4 strength before making landfall over Grenada’s Carriacou island on July 1.

The hurricane later crossed the Yucatan Peninsula and weakened to a tropical storm as it headed towards the US coast.

Hurricane researchers have been forecasting an active June-November Atlantic season due to warm sea surface temperatures.

RMS says that since 2000, only two years – 2005 and 2008 – have had early-July major hurricanes.