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:
Well, well...look what the Cat1 dragged in. Hi Mlc. Hope you've been well.


;P Hello, Cosmic! Been fine, thanks, just working. Same to you. Are we gonna have an Alpha season? Sure starting out quickly.
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1114. Patrap
Quoting kmanislander:


Agree. That's the bottom for the pressure.


yeah, noted the null and almost null wind speed rates too. Man this was not the system the Area was expecting.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127512
Me thinks SE Georgia is gonna get a lot of rain.

(Sorry if a bit off topic, can't help but notice the inland forecast)
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Definitely... This shouldn't be a problem to ride out


It's not even that, some shelters may have been a good idea 12 hours ago, but you don't want people outside at landfall. That's when this storm could get a whole lot more dangerous.
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Winds approaching 98 mph at 5750 feet according to radar. These have been increasing for some time now.

(Gonna have to take my word for it since I'm tired of uploading images)
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
No matter how strong Beryl is, as someone mentioned earlier, intensifying storms upon landfall are always the worst. Remember Katrina's Florida landfall?
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Quoting kmanislander:


Yeah, plus some of my pepper plants already drowned from the rain last Monday. Could be a few more inches headed this way real soon.


Bad about the pepper plants, wouldn't the formation of Beryl signal an active season, after all she really spawned in the W/Caribbean, just wondering, your thoughts?
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7649
1108. Patrap
Looks to be moving due 270 around 7mph.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127512
Quoting kmanislander:


Agree. That's the bottom for the pressure.


I thought the bottom was 993.2, from the last OB.
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Quoting Patrap:
Mark

Seems the CoC is here.



21:15:00Z 30.067N 80.367W 843.5 mb

(~ 24.91 inHg) 1,425 meters

(~ 4,675 feet) 993.5 mb

(~ 29.34 inHg) - From 32° at 8 knots

(From the NNE at ~ 9.2 mph) 17.7°C

(~ 63.9°F) 14.2°C

(~ 57.6°F) 10 knots

(~ 11.5 mph) 0 knots*

(~ 0 mph*) 2 mm/hr*

(~ 0.08 in/hr*) 0.0 knots* (~ 0.0 mph*)
0.0%*


Agree. That's the bottom for the pressure.
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looks like we have hurricane beryl based on recon
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2990
1104. Patrap
The time to make final your outside Preps in the Warned areas in soon. The Eyewall, heavy Bands whatever is closing towards the Coast and the storm is still strengthening by my view.

Make sure your NOAA alert Radio has battery Back-up and your cell Phones are fully charged.

Have a old sound powered Rotary Phone in case cell service is Lost.

The Storm will come in thru the overnight Hours so consider that as well.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127512
Quoting NICycloneChaser:


Start moving people about 2-3 hours before landfall? No way. Best thing now is for people to stay in their own houses.

Definitely... This shouldn't be a problem to ride out
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Satellite makes it look stalled
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


62kt SFMR winds uncontaminated with 83mph Flight level winds and a 993mb pressure.


Hmm. Interesting, thanks.
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Impressive data coming in from the Hurricane Hunters thus far. It definitely supports a stronger Tropical Storm Beryl and they have only gone through the NW quadrant of the storm, what has been one of the weakest quadrants for quite some time. I will be very interested to see the data they get from the northeast quadrant where I suspect, given the data in the northwest quadrant, that they will find hurricane force sustained winds. Do not be surprised at all to see this upgraded to hurricane status after the Hurricane Hunters complete their sweep through the storm.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5163
Quoting MississippiWx:


You go by the strongest winds in the storm. The entire storm doesn't have to have hurricane force winds. In fact, the western side of a tropical cyclone in the Northern Hemisphere is normally a good 10mph slower in wind speed. A lot depends on forward movement too.


We need to see what the NE quadrant has in the way of winds and right now the aircraft is on the SW side with pressure rising and winds falling. Looks like another hour before we get the strongest readings depending on when the HH starts on a heading to the NE.
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1098. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127512
Quoting ncstorm:
Now..if this is a hurricane, shelters will have to put into place and some mandatory evacuations will have to put out there rather quickly..


Too Late... Hurricane Watches should have been issued Hours ago..
Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
Quoting avthunder:

Beryl is full of surprises. I hope folks up near Jax did not take this lightly - for once it actually seems the media might have under hyped a storm.


I agree - definitely underhyped - when I was out at the store today in PV Beach (just SE of Jax on the coast) no one was preparing or acting like there was anything coming except a little rainstorm. None of the stores had supplies out, and no one was buying much out of the ordinary. The media just told us to clean up loose items in the yard and that was it...
Member Since: August 26, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 280
Quoting ncstorm:
Now..if this is a hurricane, shelters will have to put into place and some mandatory evacuations will have to put out there rather quickly..


Not a huge difference between 65mph and 75mph. Of course, she could have stronger winds than that. The people should have been prepared two days ago. The problem is that the NHC remained very conservative on their strength forecast, so most people probably failed to prepare...including government.
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Intermission time...

Have to wait until they get into the northern section again.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
Quoting ncstorm:
Now..if this is a hurricane, shelters will have to put into place and some mandatory evacuations will have to put out there rather quickly..


Start moving people about 2-3 hours before landfall? No way. Best thing now is for people to stay in their own houses.
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Quoting TerraNova:
Evening everyone.

Any interesting finds by recon? Briefly glancing at the comments above me it looks like a borderline hurricane is in order, but I haven't had a chance to take a look at the data. Is it time to assault the NHC site with my F5 button yet?


62kt SFMR winds uncontaminated with 83mph Flight level winds and a 993mb pressure.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23560
Beryl has been a fascinating storm, to say the least.
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211700 3003N 08014W 8425 01436 9932 +190 +125 217011 011 /// /// 03
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1089. Gorty
Ok so now I wont be going out to eat with friends till like an hour or so later. If not earlier, maybe 8 PM upgraded to hurricane? Luckily I will have my phone so I can check lol.

If they do find it to be at hurricane force.
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Quoting moonlightcowboy:
Beryl looking like the real thing now. As much drought as the area has had, doubting slightly cooler shelf waters will have much of a detrimental effect. Slow movement, low shear, more fuel is apt to increase intensity.

This one may be sneeking up on everyone. Sure hope the media there is doing the job.
Well, well...look what the Cat1 dragged in. Hi Mlc. Hope you've been well.
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1087. Patrap
20:45 UTC Viz

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127512

000
URNT15 KNHC 272124
AF308 0302A BERYL HDOB 12 20120527
211530 3004N 08020W 8432 01428 9933 +178 +141 335005 007 000 002 03
211600 3003N 08018W 8426 01434 9934 +179 +139 282003 004 000 002 03
211630 3003N 08016W 8433 01428 9933 +184 +133 242006 007 002 003 03
211700 3003N 08014W 8425 01436 9932 +190 +125 217011 011 /// /// 03
211730 3002N 08013W 8425 01439 9937 +185 +122 227009 011 004 002 00
211800 3000N 08011W 8436 01427 9938 +184 +122 237012 013 016 002 00
211830 2959N 08010W 8429 01437 9940 +183 +119 243015 016 029 003 00
211900 2958N 08009W 8430 01437 9946 +175 +125 244016 016 036 003 00
211930 2957N 08007W 8428 01443 9954 +165 +136 243020 023 037 003 00
212000 2956N 08006W 8426 01447 9959 +162 +136 249030 032 040 002 00
212030 2954N 08005W 8434 01444 9964 +165 +132 253035 036 041 003 00
212100 2953N 08003W 8434 01448 9970 +161 +133 254039 041 043 002 00
212130 2952N 08002W 8430 01456 9978 +154 +135 251042 042 043 003 00
212200 2950N 08000W 8429 01460 9983 +152 +136 251044 044 044 003 00
212230 2949N 07959W 8429 01466 9989 +149 +136 250045 045 044 003 00
212300 2948N 07958W 8429 01468 9997 +145 +137 252046 046 043 003 00
212330 2947N 07956W 8432 01472 0004 +144 +133 252047 047 043 004 00
212400 2945N 07955W 8427 01479 0011 +141 +126 252048 048 042 002 00
212430 2944N 07953W 8433 01479 0021 +135 +129 248049 049 042 004 00
212500 2943N 07952W 8432 01485 0024 +139 +128 246047 050 041 002 00
$$
;

That's a 4mb drop since last recon. Looks like the people claiming Category 1 before landfall weren't wishcasting afterall. Totally unexpected.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23560
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
993.2 MSLP.

211700 3003N 08014W 8425 01436 9932 +190 +125 217011 011 /// /// 03

Not much in the way of winds on the other side.


The northern side of the storm is the strongest...wait until they sample up there again.
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Beryl looking better...cool shelf waters should at least put a cap on her strength tho...

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Pretty big clear spot right there...

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
I think we're about to have our first May hurricane in a very long time!
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1081. ncstorm
Now..if this is a hurricane, shelters will have to put into place and some mandatory evacuations will have to put out there rather quickly..
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993.2 MSLP.

211700 3003N 08014W 8425 01436 9932 +190 +125 217011 011 /// /// 03

Not much in the way of winds on the other side.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Evening everyone.

Any interesting finds by recon? Briefly glancing at the comments above me it looks like a borderline hurricane is in order, but I haven't had a chance to take a look at the data. Is it time to assault the NHC site with my F5 button yet?
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1078. Patrap
Mark

Seems the CoC is here.



21:15:00Z 30.067N 80.367W 843.5 mb

(~ 24.91 inHg) 1,425 meters

(~ 4,675 feet) 993.5 mb

(~ 29.34 inHg) - From 32° at 8 knots

(From the NNE at ~ 9.2 mph) 17.7°C

(~ 63.9°F) 14.2°C

(~ 57.6°F) 10 knots

(~ 11.5 mph) 0 knots*

(~ 0 mph*) 2 mm/hr*

(~ 0.08 in/hr*) 0.0 knots* (~ 0.0 mph*)
0.0%*
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127512
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Flight level readings just prior where at 83mph.


Oops, missed those. 62 knot SMFR I would believe to be possible then.
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Quoting Gorty:


how though?


You go by the strongest winds in the storm. The entire storm doesn't have to have hurricane force winds. In fact, the western side of a tropical cyclone in the Northern Hemisphere is normally a good 10mph slower in wind speed. A lot depends on forward movement too.
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Quoting 7544:


yeap this all formed a hour ago pretty unexpected tho so surpise from beryl but could there more before shes done

Beryl is full of surprises. I hope folks up near Jax did not take this lightly - for once it actually seems the media might have under hyped a storm.
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Quoting Gorty:


how though?


90% of the time the winds in the NE quad are a good deal stronger.

One could argue that this is 1 knot off becoming a hurricane just from that first pass.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
1073. Patrap
Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)
Transmitted: 27th day of the month at 21:14Z
Date: May 27, 2012
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 308)
Storm Number: 02
Storm Name: Beryl (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 3
Observation Number: 11


HDOB Observations

21:15:00Z 30.067N 80.367W 843.5 mb
(~ 24.91 inHg) 1,425 meters
(~ 4,675 feet) 993.5 mb
(~ 29.34 inHg) - From 32° at 8 knots
(From the NNE at ~ 9.2 mph) 17.7°C
(~ 63.9°F) 14.2°C
(~ 57.6°F) 10 knots
(~ 11.5 mph) 0 knots*
(~ 0 mph*) 2 mm/hr*
(~ 0.08 in/hr*) 0.0 knots* (~ 0.0 mph*)
0.0%*
Time Coordinates Aircraft
Static Air Pressure Aircraft
Geopotential Height Extrapolated
Surface Pressure D-value Flight Level Wind (30 sec. Avg.) Air Temp. Dew Point Peak (10 sec. Avg.)
Flight Level Wind SFMR
Peak (10s Avg.) Sfc. Wind SFMR
Rain Rate Estimated Surface Wind (30 sec. Avg.)
Using Estimated Reduction Factor Peak Wind at Flight Level to
Est. Surface Reduction Factor

Independent Calculations from Tropical Atlantic

At 21:05:30Z (first observation), the observation was 46 miles (75 km) to the E (87°) from Jacksonville, FL, USA.

At 21:15:00Z (last observation), the observation was 72 miles (116 km) between the NNE and NE (34°) from Daytona Beach, FL, USA.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127512
Quoting NICycloneChaser:
Not entirely convinced by that 62 knot SMFR reading, given the flight level winds were only 61 knots, but pressure seems to have fallen fairly considering, and that is to the NW of the centre, so likely stronger on the other side.


Flight level readings just prior where at 83mph.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23560
HH still has lots more to sample.
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1070. yqt1001
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Nope. An accurate reading. I might be eating crow now saying that there was nearly zero chance of Beryl becoming a hurricane.


Beryl is a hell of a storm.

I didn't think it was going to develop but now there is THIS.

Even CMC didn't expect this!
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1068. Gorty
Quoting MississippiWx:


Then it's a hurricane lol.


how though?
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Quoting MrstormX:
Curious what quadrants recon has flown through, I would imagine the NW has the best chance of hurricane force winds.
Just the NE not the strongest NW.
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Not entirely convinced by that 62 knot SMFR reading, given the flight level winds were only 61 knots, but pressure seems to have fallen fairly considering, and that is to the NW of the centre, so likely stronger on the other side.
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I'm pretty sure this is a hurricane now whether they actually sample the highest winds or not, and if not it will be before landfall. Really impressed with how quickly this has come together. Totally different from what we were seeing last night.
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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.