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Update on Hurricane Beryl: Authorities in Texas warn against refueling cars

Authorities in Texas have advised residents to take steps now to prepare for Hurricane Beryl's impending landfall, such as keeping their cars stocked with fuel.

Beryl strengthened into a hurricane last Saturday, becoming the easternmost Atlantic hurricane of June. The storm quickly intensified and became a Category 4 hurricane when its winds reached 130 mph (210 km/h). At least 11 people have died, according to the Associated Press.

The system temporarily weakened to Category 3 before re-strengthening. When it made landfall in the Leeward Islands on Monday morning, maximum wind speeds of 240 km/h were recorded.

Storm clouds hang over the mountains as people make final preparations for the arrival of Hurricane Beryl in Kingston, Jamaica, on July 3, 2024. Authorities in Texas are urging residents to prepare now, even though the storm…


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Hurricane Beryl was at one point classified as a Category 5, but has since weakened to a tropical storm with winds up to 70 mph as it exited the Yucatan Peninsula on Friday afternoon.

Several meteorologists have expressed concern that Beryl could regain strength as it moves through the Gulf. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Texas Emergency Management Agency Director Nim Kidd held a press conference on Friday urging people to take the proper steps to prepare for the storm.

“We won't know exactly where the severe weather will land for several hours, but we're very confident that this system will come somewhere in Texas,” Kidd said. “So we're asking people to take the time to make sure their vehicles are full of gas, that they have food and water, that they've taken care of their pets, checked on their family members and take the time now to prepare so that when this thing makes landfall, you're already where you're needed.”

Despite the wind speeds the storm will reach when it makes landfall, authorities warn that Beryl could also bring heavy rainfall of up to 30 centimeters or more, which could cause flooding.

Newsweek has emailed the National Hurricane Center (NHC) for comment.

Authorities in Texas also warned of backwashes that could lead to dangerous conditions on the beaches as early as the weekend.

Beryl is the first hurricane of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season and the second named storm. Tropical Storm Alberto made landfall in Mexico on the morning of June 20. Shortly after Beryl formed, the third named storm of the season – Tropical Storm Chris – quickly formed on Sunday evening. Chris made landfall in Mexico that night with winds of about 40 mph. It has since dissipated.

Several agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have issued forecasts warning that 2024 will be an exceptionally strong hurricane year.

NOAA is forecasting an above-average hurricane season with 17 to 25 named storms. Of the 25, eight to 13 will be hurricanes and four to seven will be major storms. The forecast number of named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes is the highest NOAA has ever released in a May forecast.

Several factors are contributing to the storms forecast for this year, including unusually high sea surface temperatures and the expectation that El Niño will turn into La Niña in the summer or fall.