Hurricane Beryl, which left a trail of destruction from the Caribbean to Mexico – and now the United States – has once again underscored the urgent need for robust early warning systems, the UN meteorological agency (WMO) said on Monday.

Beryl is the strongest hurricane ever to form in the Atlantic during June and rapidly intensified from a tropical depression to a Category 4 storm, briefly reaching Category 5 with winds up to 240 km/h (150 mph).

It made landfall in Texas early Monday morning local time as a Category 1 hurricane, causing a dangerous storm surge and the risk of flash flooding.

It is expected to weaken rapidly as it moves further inland, according to the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) specialized regional centre Miami, which is operated by the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).

WMO also warned of a very intense hurricane season, with up to 25 named storms expected through November. Among them, eight to 13 could develop into hurricanes.

“We need to be especially vigilant this year due to near-record ocean heat in the region where Atlantic hurricanes form and the shift to La Niña conditions, which together create the conditions for increased storm formulation,” said Ko Barrett, WMO Deputy Secretary-General.

“This is why WMO and its partners have prioritized early warning action in small islands under the international Early Warnings For All initiative.”