Eye of a hurricane

Texas Braces For Impact As Tropical Storm Beryl Expected To Become Category 1 Hurricane

Home / News / Texas Braces For Impact As Tropical Storm Beryl Expected To Become Category 1 Hurricane

By Kelly Coffey-Behrens on July 7, 2024 at 12:30 PM EDT

Although Beryl is still just a tropical storm, its pressure has dropped from 992 millibars to 988, but what exactly does that mean? Well, lower pressure means higher winds are on the way, so it’s looking more and more like Beryl will become a Category 1 hurricane, with an expected landfall near Matagorda, Texas, early Monday morning.

Starting overnight tonight and lasting through Monday afternoon, Texans should be prepared for 12-15 hours of strong winds and heavy rain. Expect winds of 50 mph and higher, intense downpours, and some coastal flooding.

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Tropical Storm Beryl Heads For Texas

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The Houston-Galveston area should brace for a rough Monday. As of this morning, Beryl is still a tropical storm, but it's expected to strengthen into a hurricane at some point today. Landfall is anticipated very early Monday near Matagorda Bay, possibly even closer to Brazoria County, per Fox News.

40-70 mph winds for cities like Freeport, Bay City, Wharton, Rosenberg, and possibly Sugar Land, Katy, and, by midday, the Great Houston area are expected. Texans should prepare for a soggy Monday with rainfall ranging from 5-10 inches, which means flooding could be a concern. However, there’s a silver lining: Beryl is a fast mover, so the heavy rain won't last too long.

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Beryl Rips Through Mexico

When Beryl devastated the Caribbean islands of Grenada, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines, it was a Category 4 storm. However, the storm weakened to a Category 2 by the time it made landfall on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula this past Friday.

"We are expecting, unfortunately, to see environmental conditions conducive for Beryl to re-strengthen and regain hurricane strength," National Hurricane Center Director Michael Brennan said in a video update Friday, per NBC.

Ahead of Beryl's arrival in southern Texas, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he will deploy nine of the state's firefighters to assist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's "Incident Support Team."

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Risk Of Life-Threatening Storm Surge Along Texas Coast

According to the NHC, there is an increasing risk of life-threatening storm surge along much of the Texas coast late Sunday and Monday, and a Storm Surge Watch has been issued.

The hurricane has already caused nine deaths in Venezuela, Jamaica, and the Windward Island nations of Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Officials reported that it caused severe damage to many homes in Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, per NBC.

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Texas Prepares For Beryl

“We are expecting Beryl to be intensifying up until landfall early Monday, and people should be preparing for the possibility of a Category 2 hurricane landfall,” the NHC said in a statement.

On Friday, Texas issued a disaster declaration for 39 counties in preparation for the storm.

"We are going to be prepared for the worst, and we have assets ready to deploy as soon as we know a better direction of where that storm has gone," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said during a press briefing, according to ABC News.

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'Significant' Damage To Jamaica

Jamaica faced significant damage late Wednesday, including flooding and widespread damage caused by Beryl. The hurricane's center passed just 45 miles south of Kingston as a Category 4 storm, packing winds of 140 mph.

According to ABC, Beryl was the first major hurricane -- at least a Category 3 -- to pass this close to Jamaica since 2007.

"Jamaica was spared the worst of Hurricane Beryl, but the damages are still significant," Prime Minister Andrew Holness said on social media.

When Beryl strengthened to a Category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph this week, it set a record as the strongest hurricane ever recorded in July.

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