The National Hurricane Center is monitoring the progress of very dangerous Category 5 Hurricane Beryl this morning. The storm roared through the southern islands of the Lesser Antilles yesterday and is on a track that would carry the storm's center of circulation into the Gulf of Mexico by as early as Friday evening.

The 2 a.m. Atlantic Standard Time update showed the storm had maximum sustained winds of 160 mph. The advisory placed the center of Beryl approximately 450 miles south of the Dominican Republic or about 775 miles east southeast of Kingston Jamaica.

Beryl was moving to the west-northwest at 22 mph. Hurricane Warnings have been posted for Jamaica. Tropical Storm warnings have been posted for portions of the Haitian and Dominican Republic as well. Additional watches and warnings for interest in the Cayman Islands and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and Belize might be issued later today or tomorrow.

Below is the most recent graphic illustration of where forecasters believe Beryl will track. As you can see forecasters believe the storm will impact the Yucatan Peninsula on Friday. This interaction with land should weaken the storm system considerably. However, the consensus of model guidance suggests that Beryl will slide into the Bay of Campeche as a Tropical Storm.

Some of the model guidance suggests that Beryl will make a northerly turn toward northeastern Mexico or southern Texas this weekend. However, confidence in that aspect of the storm's track is not very high. Forecasters will be able to fine-tune the track and intensity forecast of Beryl and its potential impacts on the Gulf of Mexico as we move through time.

Interests along the Texas Coast and the southwestern coastline of Louisiana should monitor Beryl's progress over the next few days still, Louisiana and Texas should feel no effects from Beryl until well after the July 4th Holiday.

Elsewhere in the tropics, the National Hurricane Center is monitoring a tropical wave about 1,000 miles east of Windward Islands. This system had been given a rather robust probability to strengthen over the next few days but forecasters now say strengthening of this system is only listed at 30% for the next seven days.

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