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:
Maybe the coastal part makes a difference. I've been here 30 years and I always had coverage for pool/screen enclosures under private and Citizen's insurance...the removal of coverage was a first for most of us in the state as of renewal this year. Again...thank you Gov. Scott. for taking care of insurance companies over your citizens.
citizens paid me for my pool cage on marco after wilma
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41829
Seeing some 92 mph pixels at about 6500 feet on KJAX radar.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15947
Quoting 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.





Thanks for the advice Pat - just got the first couple of rainbands with some gusts through PV Beach here SE of Jax - not too bad outside yet, calm between the bands, but the radar strengthening looks like we may have a long night ahead since it is heading straight for us...
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Beryl is almost on top of this buoy and winds indicate the system should be just to the East. Winds not all that strong but the NE quad is where the strongest readings should be found by the HH. May not make hurricane status but we will just have to wait and see.


Wind Direction (WDIR): NNW ( 340 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 35.0 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 46.6 kts
Wave Height (WVHT): 14.1 ft
Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 10 sec
Average Period (APD): 6.5 sec
Mean Wave Direction (MWD): NNE ( 27 deg true )
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.51 in
Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.11 in ( Falling Rapidly )
Air Temperature (ATMP): 74.8 °F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 77.4 °F
Salinity (SAL): 36.20 psu
Dew Point (DEWP): 71.8 °F
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First us land falling "b"storm in may in history

Bbg beryl is making history
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41829
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Down to cruising altitude; flight-level winds at 40kts.

205500 3039N 08125W 8433 01556 0113 +131 +114 029038 040 /// /// 03
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Full tropical storm conditions just offshore of Florida in the intense rain core
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That stubborn mesovortex Levi and others noted earlier in the South Quadrant, is still trying to fully attempt a Coup on the Larger Overall CoC.

It's making small gains and is the feature to watch the next 2 Hours...along with the obvious western Squalls

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129439
I see no evidence of an eye.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Is this a full-fledged feeder band coming through West Palm?
Yessir; I'm under a severe thunderstorm warning until 5:30 here in Dade.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting SCwannabe:
It's amazing how much the people on this blog know more than the NHC...
You get used to it after 8 years:). I've seen many come and go. I respect the enthusiasm we see in teens/young adults, but it's foolish to think you know more than the NHC forecasters.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41829
Checking in from Jax. Light rain, 20mph gusts. Just checked the generator out and gassed it up. Batteries, flashlights and water...CHECK. Fingers crossed we don't get the amount of rain w got with Faye.
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The National Weather Service in Miami has issued a

* significant weather advisory for...
southeastern Palm Beach County

* until 515 PM EDT

* at 445 PM EDT... National Weather Service meteorologists detected a
line of strong thunderstorms along a line extending from Port of
Palm Beach to Coconut Creek... and moving east at 10 mph.

* The line of storms will affect...
West Palm Beach...
Boynton Beach...
Boca Raton...
and surrounding communities.

The primary impacts will be frequent to excessive lightning and gusty
winds of 45 to 55 mph. Lightning is the number one weather related
killer in Florida. Trees and open shelters offer no protection. These
winds can down small tree limbs and branches... and blow around
unsecured small objects. Seek shelter in a safe building until the
storm passes.
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Quoting Patrap:
Has the Fla. State Govt made any announcements on TV/Radio or other media?


The Mayor of JAX/Duval County was on TV earlier this afternoon along with other local public officials. He has been very responsible IMO. Closed down the Jazz Festival today - closed the parks - 86'd swimming at the beaches (we have had a lot of rip current problems the last day or two). Told people to get necessary supplies immediately - be prepared for power outages - don't drive in flooded roads - etc. A shelter has been opened for special needs people - and transportation arrangements are in place for them. The usual stuff. I wasn't watching TV most of the afternoon - but am now watching golf on local TV - and the local news people are breaking in with updates every once in a while. Robyn
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Is this a full-fledged feeder band coming through West Palm?
yes!:)
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Quoting SCwannabe:


Don't think so...


Start thinking so, that's an eye
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.
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Radar does not support an eye.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15947
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SHORT TERM FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
415 PM EDT SUN MAY 27 2012

FLZ039-042-043-048-049-052-056-057-061-272200-
LEVY-CITRUS-SUMTER-HERNANDO-PASCO-POLK-HARDEE-HIG HLANDS-DE SOTO-
415 PM EDT SUN MAY 27 2012

.NOW...
THROUGH 6 PM...SCATTERED SHOWERS FROM THE OUTER BANDS OF TROPICAL
STORM BERYL WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE SOUTH ACROSS THE NATURE
COAST...AND SOUTHEAST ACROSS INLAND PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AND
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA THIS AFTERNOON. EXPECT PERIODS OF HEAVY
RAIN...STRONG GUSTY WINDS...AND DANGEROUS CLOUD TO GROUND
LIGHTNING NEAR THE STRONGEST STORMS.

$$

TF
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41829
Nobody, including myself, probably expected her to look this good at this particular point in time...I do hope the cooler shelf waters put a lock on it before landfall.
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Is this a full-fledged feeder band coming through West Palm?
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The forecast track is asking for a bit much of a northward bump. At this point, a landfall in the southern portion of Ponte Vedra Beach looks likely.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
The hunters are going the fly through the NE quad first.


They need to
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Quoting SCwannabe:
It's amazing how much the people on this blog know more than the NHC...


what 0 ?
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Quoting IFuSAYso:
Link

What are the probabilities that this storm may produce tropical cyclone-spawned tornadoes?
per the most recent outlook from SPC, 2% over NE FL and most of the GA coastline and inland a ways. See most recent SPC outlook graphic here or at comment 810.
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Yup. Looks like Beryl is about to fully close off her circulation (with t-storms) and go tropical. Thank God it is happening so late in the game so rapid intensification is not an issue with this one.


Not only has she already gone tropical, but rapid intensification IS an issue with this one. Beryl is clearly, obviously in a RI cycle right at this moment.

The storm is strengthening so fast that the updates from the TPC are almost a moot issue. Yes, the storm chasers are doing a good job of tracking the current stats on Beryl but by the time all of the data is organized and appears in the public information statement, it is likely to be obsolete.

The official forecast has continually called for Beryl to lose strength or to remain static in intensity once she moves into the cooler shelf waters. This probably will happen but it could still reach minimal hurricane strength (even if not reported officially) before the storm reaches the cooler shelf water.

Also, strengthening storms are always more of a problem, at any strength level, than weakening storms are when making landfall. This is because a storm in a RI cycle will do a more efficient job of brining stronger winds from the convective cells down to the Earth's surface than will a weakening storm, normally.

Personally I doubt that Beryl will weaken at all from this point until landfall. The atmosphere around the storm seems to be moistening rapidly, including across the Florida peninsula.. with the heating of the day causing the eruption of thunderstorm cells over the land mass.. and this should provide enough momentum for Beryl to at least maintain strength before she reaches land.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Found the eye...





Don't think so...
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It's still intensifying
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Quoting stormpetrol:


This is best Beryl ever looked, personally I think she's a 75 mph hurricane now.


It is certainly going to be close. The TCR at the end of the season may need to clear it up.
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severe thunderstorms associated with the center of beryl will affect the jacksonville/ st augustine area this looks to me the worst that beryl will give
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Hurricane Hunter Recon on Google Earth:

Link

It's the download link directly. Enjoy!
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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: 427 Comments: 129439
The hunters are going to fly through the NW quad first.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41829
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
It's amazing how much the people on this blog know more than the NHC...
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Found the eye...





That's a pinhole
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41829
Quoting UKHWatcher:
Can someone please post the google earth kml for the recon? thanx


Link
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15947
Quoting RitaEvac:
NHC better pull their pants up and issue hurricane warnings to CTA
ditch those skirts
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Quoting Patrap:
A Good night to stay indoors..and have the NOAA Alert Radio near to give notice of the Tornadoes.



Thanks, Patrap. I'll take your advice, except for the Radio. Don't have one of those, but I've got a bunch of little dogs with big ears. Just as good! A bit noisier, tho....
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41829


This is best Beryl ever looked, personally I think she's a 75 mph hurricane now.
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Less than 24 hrs to landfall, have 65mph max winds, an increase of just 10mph (9mph to get technical but who cares) tropical storm warning and hurricane warning should be in affect
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889. Patrap 4:45 PM EDT on May 27, 2012

Yeah...Should of checked there first before I asked on here. Anyway, a super interesting watch over the past 48 hours in terms of the models, comments, and lots of discussion on STS v. TS. This has been, and continues to be, quite the real time tutorial on transitioning.

Now hopefully the folks in the path have take the appropriate precautions for this eventuality.
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Found the eye...



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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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