Beryl a little stronger, closes in on Southeast U.S. coast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:21 PM GMT on May 27, 2012

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The beach-going weather this Memorial Day weekend will deteriorate rapidly this afternoon along the Southeast U.S. coast near the Florida/Georgia border, where Subtropical Storm Beryl is steadily closing in. A hurricane hunter aircraft found top surface winds near 60 mph in heavy thunderstorms to the northeast of Beryl's center at 9:15 am EDT this morning; top winds in the region to the southwest of the center were a little weaker, near 55 mph. This region is now approaching the coast of northern Florida. Winds at the Buoy 41012, 46 miles ENE of St. Augustine and to the southeast of Beryl's center, hit 38 mph gusting to 49 mph, at 11 am EDT this morning. Wave heights at the buoy were 12 feet, and Beryl is driving heavy surf that is generating dangerous rip currents along a large section of the Southeast U.S. coast. On Saturday, at least 32 people were rescued by lifeguards at Tybee Island, Georgia due to strong rip currents generated by Beryl's crashing surf.


Figure 1. True-color MODIS satellite image of Beryl taken at 12:20 pm EDT May 26, 2012 by NASA's Aqua satellite. At the time, Beryl was a subtropical storm with winds of 45 mph.


Figure 2. Morning radar image from the long-range radar out of Jacksonville, FL.

Forecast for Beryl
Beryl is still a subtropical storm, as evidenced by its large, cloud-free center, but the storm is steadily building a large amount of heavy thunderstorms near the center this morning, as the storm traverses the core of the Gulf Stream. The warm 27 - 28°C (81 - 83°F) waters of the Gulf Stream are helping warm and moisten the atmosphere near Beryl's core, and it is possible that Beryl will become a tropical storm before landfall late Sunday night. As I explain in my Subtropical Storm Tutorial, the fact that the storm has not been able to generate a tight inner core with heavy thunderstorms near the center will limit its intensification potential, and we need not be concerned about rapid intensification of Beryl while it is still subtropical.The clockwise flow of air around an extremely intense ridge of high pressure that is bringing record heat to the Midwest this weekend is currently driving Beryl to the west. As Beryl approaches the coast tonight, the storm will move off of the warmest Gulf Stream waters into waters that are cooler (25°, 77°F), and with lower total heat content. A portion of the storm's circulation will also be over land, and these two factors will limit the storm's potential to strengthen. Beryl is also struggling against a large amount of dry that surrounds the storm, due to the presence of an upper-level trough of low pressure. The 11 am Sunday wind probability advisory from NHC gave Beryl just an 6% chance of becoming a hurricane before landfall. Flooding due to heavy rains is probably not a huge concern with this storm, particularly since the Southeast U.S. coast is under moderate to extreme drought. The 3 - 6 inches of rain expected from Beryl will not be enough to bust the drought, since the Southeast U.S. is generally suffering a rainfall deficit of 9 - 12 inches (Figure 4.) Heavy rains from Beryl will begin affecting coastal Georgia and Northern Florida near 3 pm Sunday.


Figure 3. Predicted rainfall from Beryl, as taken from the 06 UTC May 27, 2012 run of the HWRF model. A large area of 4 - 8 inches of rain (dark green colors) is predicted for the drought-stricken areas of Northern Florida and Southern Georgia. Image credit: Morris Bender, NOAA/GFDL.


Figure 4. Much of the Southeast U.S. needs 9 - 12 inches of rain (red colors) to bust the current drought. A drought is defined as "busted" when the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) goes higher than -0.5. As seen from the HWRF precipitation forecast in Figure 3, most of the drought relief from Beryl will occur near the coast, and the most needy areas (purple colors in Figure 3) are expected to get little rainfall. Image credit: NOAA.

Links to follow
Wundermap for the FL/GA coastal region
Long-range radar out of Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville, FL live pier cam

Scorching May heat wave hits much of the U.S.; severe weather expected in the Midwest
An exceptionally strong high pressure system anchored over the central U.S. is bringing record-smashing May heat to much of the country this Memorial Day weekend. Dozens of daily high temperature records fell on Saturday, including several all-time records for the month of May. Vichy-Rolla, Missouri hit 98°F, beating its all-time May heat record of 95° set on May 15, 1899. Columbus, Georgia hit 97°F, tying the record hottest May day on record. Saturday's high of 100°F in Tallahassee was the second highest May temperature since record keeping began in 1892. Pensacola's 98°F on Saturday was its second highest May temperature since record keeping began in 1879 (the record May temperature in both cities is 102°F, set on May 27, 1953.) Nashville, Tennessee hit 95°F on Saturday, just 1° shy of their all-time May heat record. That record could fall today, and numerous all-time May heat records will be threatened in the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Tennessee Valley. As is often the case when one portion of the country is experiencing record heat, the other half is seeing unusually cool conditions, due to a large kink in the jet stream. Billings, Montana received 1.3" of snow Saturday, and Great Falls had received 2.3" as of 6 am this morning. The dividing line between the warm conditions in the Eastern U.S. and cool conditions to the west lies over Nebraska and Kansas today, and NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has placed portions of these states in their "Moderate Risk" area for severe weather--the second highest level of alert.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting CosmicEvents:
I agree with both of those facts...but my question was if you really expected the NHC to re-classify this particular cyclone as a hurricane(at any point)in the final analysis?

I believe there is a fair chance.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32061
Quoting CybrTeddy:


And it's only May 27th. Never thought I'd see a borderline Hurricane hit the United States in May this year.



we got june july AUG SEP this is going too be a long season
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img src="">
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Tropical Storm Beryl, the first landfalling tropical cyclone of 2012.



And it's only May 27th. Never thought I'd see a borderline Hurricane hit the United States in May this year.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24030
2361. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128314
Quoting weatherxtreme:


I am actually in the more southern end of Jax heading toward saint Augustine.

In that case...I think you are toward the southern eye wall and won't get much calm...hold on tight....you've got good winds for the next hours...

Quoting SpicyAngel1072:
I'm in seminole county florida...not really getting anything here

You're not really going to get much out of Beryl down there...outside of occasional light rain showers when some of the spiral bands pass through.
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2359. Bielle
Live out of Jacksonville, Fla: redo
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Blog Update
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Tropical Storm Beryl, the first landfalling tropical cyclone of 2012.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32061
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Recon left the system a few hours earlier, at which time it was probably still strengthening very slowly. Radar velocities revealed winds near 70-80 knots; Cindy during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was upgraded in post-season analysis based on radar velocities of 71 knots.
I agree with both of those facts...but my question was if you really expected the NHC to re-classify this particular cyclone as a hurricane(at any point)in the final analysis?
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The blob of thunderstorms in the Western Caribbean is impressive convection-wise. However, it really has nothing going for it. It is taking advantage of an area of upper divergence on the eastern flank of an upper level low. It has basically no convergence of air and nothing happening vort-wise. I will be surprised if it's still around in the morning unless something begins to form at the surface. Cyclogenesis would have to occur because of the intense thunderstorms forming the area of low pressure which takes time and persistence. I don't see it happening.

Divergence


850mb Vort

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Up here in Brunswick Georgia right on the coast. Hasn't been to bad yet....some serious wind in the 40mph range with higher gusts and about an inch of rain....but been in a dry area for about hour and a half....I hear about 3000 roughly have lost power in this area right now....Luckily I have not!
Member Since: September 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 39
JEA is now reporting over 24,000 without power.
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The blob of thunderstorms in the Western Caribbean is impressive convection-wise. However, it really has nothing going for it. It is taking advantage of an area of upper divergence on the eastern flank of an upper level low. It has basically no convergence of air and nothing happening vort-wise. I will be surprised if it's still around in the morning unless something begins to form at the surface. Cyclogenesis would have to occur because of the intense thunderstorms forming the area of low pressure which takes time and persistence. I don't see it happening.

Divergence


850mb Vort

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The caribbean blob will be gone tomorrow probally.If not I'll eat crow.It is ans interesting conversation to have on the blog though.
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Thunderbolt got hit by a thunderstorm. lol
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2346. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting ProgressivePulse:


And the back side is yet to come, that is rather impressive.


Saw a buoy report with 60mph wind from the south. Backside is worth a mention on this one..
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Meso-vort in the center of the COC is about to make landfall just south of JAX beach.
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Quoting weatherxtreme:


we had power pop a few times and came back on but don't think it will hold up long getting really bad.


How High are your winds? Are your windows shaking?
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2343. Skyepony (Mod)
0425 PM RIP CURRENTS TALBOT ISLAND 30.47N 81.42W
05/26/2012 DUVAL FL EMERGENCY MNGR

EIGHT INDIVIDUALS RESCUED FROM SURF. EARLY REPORTS ARE
THAT SEVERAL CHILDREN ON BOOGIE BOARDS WERE PULLED OUT TO
SEA AND SEVERAL ADULTS ATTEMPTED TO RESCUE THEM.ALL
BECAME EXHAUSTED REQUIRING RESCUE BY FIRE RESCUE
UNITS.ONE OF THE RESCUED INDIVIDUALS WAS TRANSPORTED TO
THE HOSPITAL.
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Quoting Skyepony:
1035 PM TROPICAL STORM 4 W MAYPORT 30.38N 81.48W
05/27/2012 DUVAL FL MESONET

A WIND GUST OF 73 MPH WAS JUST RECORDED AT BUCK ISLAND ON
THE ST. JOHNS RIVER.



And the back side is yet to come, that is rather impressive.
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
Right.
And on your second point, with a storm that wasn't measured as a hurricane ashore...do you really expect even in retrospect that they'll re-classify the cyclone as a hurricane....based on what? Some measurement in one quadrant that hit hurricane strength?

Recon left the system a few hours earlier, at which time it was probably still strengthening very slowly. Radar velocities revealed winds near 70-80 knots; Cindy during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was upgraded in post-season analysis based on radar velocities of 71 knots.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32061
Quoting tropicfreak:


Remind me what month we are in?



I think its May??? Well you know, we are in a drought, we could use an early start to the tropics ramping up, accept the hurricane force winds and storm surge of course :)
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7446
I'm in seminole county florida...not really getting anything here
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Maybe Beryl will be upgraded in post-season?.
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TS Beryl may not go inland that much before it recurves out to sea and restrengthens
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2335. MahFL
I am in Orange Park, the lights flickered once, wind is about 20 with gusts to 40, not so bad yet. 0.86 inches of rain today.
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2334. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting Jedkins01:



You know, if the system were to stay weak, a tropical storm would be very well welcome here in Central Florida, more drought help!



If you look at the precip on that it starts streaming a good bit of moisture our way starting on Thursday.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:

Are you in the Jacksonville metro area? I see the western eye wall over Jacksonville metro while the conditions on the immediate coast of the Jacksonville should be calming right now. This area of calm conditions will soon spread into Jacksonville metro if that is any consolation...

But I hate to say your gonna have to brace for the 2nd half after the eye....


I am actually in the more southern end of Jax heading toward saint Augustine.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Do I expect 70 mph? No. The strongest sustained winds have been around 40-45 mph, with gusts over 70 mph at times.
Right.
And on your second point, with a storm that wasn't measured as a hurricane ashore...do you really expect even in retrospect that they'll re-classify the cyclone as a hurricane....based on what? Some measurement in one quadrant that hit hurricane strength?
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view Yesterday's Weather
Mayport Naval Station
Lat: 30.4 Lon: -81.42 Elev: 16
Last Update on May 27, 10:52 pm EDT

Light Rain and Windy

75 °F
(24 °C)
Humidity: 82 %
Wind Speed: NE 44 G 58 MPH
Barometer: 29.48" (998.2 mb)
Dewpoint: 69 °F (21 °C)
Visibility: 3.00 mi.
More Local Wx: 3 Day History:
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7446
2329. Skyepony (Mod)
1035 PM TROPICAL STORM 4 W MAYPORT 30.38N 81.48W
05/27/2012 DUVAL FL MESONET

A WIND GUST OF 73 MPH WAS JUST RECORDED AT BUCK ISLAND ON
THE ST. JOHNS RIVER.

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2328. Skyepony (Mod)
1035 PM TROPICAL STORM KINGS BAY BASE 30.79N 81.51W
05/27/2012 CAMDEN GA EMERGENCY MNGR

KINGS BAY NAVAL SUB BASE REPORTED WIND GUST OF 65 MPH AT
WATERFRONT FACILITY BEFORE THE WIND GAUGE STOPPED
REPORTING. REPORTS OF SEVERALS TREES DOWN.

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Quoting weatherxtreme:
we are absolutely getting pounded right now where I live in Jax. the power popped couple of times really surprised it is back on but not for long I am sure. have heard some big crashes down the street like trees falling. I know we are about to get another really bad band anytime now. will try to keep updating.

Are you in the Jacksonville metro area? I see the western eye wall over Jacksonville metro while the conditions on the immediate coast of the Jacksonville should be calming right now. This area of calm conditions will soon spread into Jacksonville metro if that is any consolation...

But I hate to say your gonna have to brace for the 2nd half after the eye....
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The low center is the red circle.

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2325. Grothar
Quoting RMM34667:


Been watching closely. My father will be buried at Florida National on Tuesday. According to WU it's 132 miles from the projected center. So just beyond the 115 TS force wind field. I'm not so concerned about the weather on Tuesday, wet, windy and gloomy would fit the mood. But need a drier Monday to keep the patio dry (so we can keep it clean) for our guests. Don't have time to clean up Tuesday. Mother nature is certainly not making this easy.

I'm hoping it moves quickly away!!


Very sorry to hear that. You didn'tneed this now.
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Wow, it's incredible to believe we have a strong tropical storm making landfall in NE Florida in Ma-OH LOOK A BLOB IN THE CARIBBEAN.
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Will be interesting to read Koritheman's analysis on Beryl and the blob of convection in the Western Caribbean. Wonder what he is up to.
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2322. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
XXL/INV/XX
MARK
13.97N/80.93W


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53841
I can'ts believe the NHC didn't issue a Hurricane Warning
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Chat
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IT is so a Hurricane Even Channel 4 Mets in Jax are calling it a hurricane. Landfall right now!! They call this a historic storm.
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2317. Grothar
Quoting Hurricanes101:


oh I know, just thought it was interesting to point out

the tracks will look very similar in the end


I wonder how the next one will track? The Caribbean looks active this season, but that is always a favorable spot this early.
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:
Are their any bloggers from the N Florida or S Georgia area who have not lost power yet?

What are you winds and how are you holding up?


we had power pop a few times and came back on but don't think it will hold up long getting really bad.
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In terms of those 80kt flight level winds found per tpc the actual surface winds beneath the airplane were only about 50 kt, well below hurricane strength. On average, 80 kt at 850 mb would correspond to about 65 kt at the surface. But not all storms have the "average" structure. Some have surface to flight-level wind ratios that are higher than average, some are lower than average.


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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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