Old clip misrepresented as Hurricane Beryl

Posts on social media purport to show a clip of Hurricane Beryl making landfall in the United States in 2024 after sweeping across the Caribbean. But the footage was shared in 2022 during a weather phenomenon called a derecho in Ohio.

"Beryl Hurricane in USA today 2024," says a July 1, 2024 post on TikTok. The video opens with a three-second clip of clouds that look like a giant wave set to crash down on homes.

A longer video of the clouds spread on X in response to a post about the powerful storm.

<span>A screenshot of a clip shared on TikTok and taken on July 2, 2024</span>
A screenshot of a clip shared on TikTok and taken on July 2, 2024

Hurricane Beryl made landfall in Mexico July 5 after leaving a trail of destruction across the Caribbean and the coast of Venezuela, with deaths reported.

Beryl is the first storm since US National Hurricane Center records began to reach the Category 4 level in June and the earliest to reach Category 5 in July (archived here).

The clip shared on social media however shows a weather phenomenon that happened years ago and is unrelated to a hurricane, AFP found.

A reverse image search using keyframes from the video on Google led to The Weather Channel coverage posted on July 1, 2022 (archived here), sharing the same video and describing events in Cincinnati, Ohio weeks earlier.

The video depicts "shelf clouds" ahead of a meteorological phenomenon known as a derecho, the Weather Channel reported.

A derecho is "a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms," common in the Midwest United States, according to the US National Weather Service (archived here) -- it differs from a hurricane, which forms on water (archived here).

Other news coverage also shows the phenomenon that struck Hamilton County, Ohio in June 2022 from different angles (archived here).

Scientists coined the term derecho from a Spanish word meaning direct to distinguish straight-line wind damage from tornadoes (archived here).

<span>Graphic explaining the formation of hurricanes </span><div><span>Cléa PÉCULIER</span><span>Sophie RAMIS</span><span>AFP</span></div>
Graphic explaining the formation of hurricanes

The earliest iteration of the clip AFP could find was on Reddit (archived here).

AFP reached out to ARK media, the company credited in The Weather Channel coverage, but a response was not forthcoming.

AFP has debunked other out-of-context images during other storms and hurricanes.