Jeff Arnold and Ali Bradley

8 hours ago

(NewsNation) — Hurricane Beryl, which killed at least eight people as it made its way through the Caribbean, is expected to reach Texas by Monday morning, but could weaken to a tropical storm by then, according to forecasters.

Beryl, the first hurricane of the 2024 season and the earliest to reach Category 5, was downgraded from Category 3 to Category 2 on Thursday afternoon, with sustained winds reaching 110 mph. The storm is moving west-northwest at about 20 mph.

The head of Mexico's civil protection agency, Laura Velázquez, said Thursday that Beryl is expected to be a Category 1 hurricane when it hits a relatively uninhabited stretch of land south of Tulum early Friday.

But when Beryl reemerges in the Gulf of Mexico a day later, it is expected to regain hurricane strength and make landfall right on the Mexican-American border near Matamoros, she said. This area was already hit by Tropical Storm Alberto in June.

Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino has issued a voluntary evacuation order for the state's southernmost county, but is not requiring residents and guests to leave the area for now. The order was issued as a precautionary measure as state authorities continue to monitor the storm's path.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has directed the Texas Department of Emergency Management to issue warnings as needed. State authorities are urging residents to follow local guidance as the state prepares for the storm to make landfall early next week.

Accuweather meteorologists said that while the risk of direct impacts remained low in parts of Florida and Louisiana, the risk was increasing in parts of Texas, including Corpus Christi and Brownsville, USA Today reported.

“This southern part of the Texas coast is the zone we really need to keep an eye on,” Accuweather meteorologist Jonathan Porter told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, the Weather Channel warns that Beryl will cause high swells, rip currents and flooding along parts of the Gulf Coast from eastern Mexico to Texas and western Louisiana as early as Saturday. The rip current threat could extend even farther east along the northern Gulf Coast.

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