Was Hurricane Beryl worse than expected? Meteorologist weighs in

Elyse Smith Image
Tuesday, July 9, 2024
Was hurricane Beryl worse than expected? Meteorologist weighs in
Hurricane Beryl slammed southeast Texas with hurricane-force winds, leaving heavy damage behind. But was it worse than anticipated?

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Monday morning, Hurricane Beryl slammed southeast Texas with hurricane-force winds and torrential rains, leading to flash flooding of major roads and highways and damage across many communities. Many see Beryl as the worst storm since Hurricane Ike, considering the impacts of both the wind and rain.

Leading up to landfall, Beryl's track started to shift farther north toward southeast Texas and Houston. The ABC13 Weather Team discussed this possibility more than a week out, talking to the tropical "wildcards" that could shift Beryl's path toward Houston. That ended up happening when Beryl made landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula farther north than initially forecast. That was one of the big precursors that would send the storm closer to southeast Texas.

Additionally, the threat of Beryl intensifying from a tropical storm to potentially a Category 1 or 2 hurricane before landfall along the Gulf Coast. This would raise the degree of impact at landfall, which also happened when Beryl went from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane Sunday night.

Still, the storm caught many off guard, potentially from the storm's timing after a long holiday weekend to believing the impacts would be minimal. Another factor could be, for many who have moved to Houston within the past five to 10 years, this was the first hurricane to make landfall near the city and also hit the city. Hurricane Nicholas in 2021 was more of a coastal storm, and Harvey in 2017 technically didn't make landfall in southeast Texas.

That being said, Beryl will be a lesson for many that even though Houston and southeast Texas are no strangers to tropical systems, we still have to adequately prepare for each if one were to come our way. This includes making sure you have a hurricane preparedness kit and plans in place for you and your family for before, during, and after the storm.

Understandably, many of the recovery efforts are out of our control, like when power gets restored after an outage. CenterPoint still estimates to have power restored to 1 million people by Wednesday, and you can check on those efforts on its website.

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