Tropical weather analysis - May 28, 2012
Beryl made landfall a few hours ago in northeastern Florida near Jacksonville as a high-end tropical storm. Satellite and radar data indicate that the cyclone developed tropical characteristics Sunday afternoon. As of the latest NHC advisory, the following was posted:
Wind: 50 mph, with higher gusts
Location: 30.3°N 82.0°W
Movement: W at 8 mph
Pressure: 997 mb
Category: Tropical storm (Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale)
It should be noted that Beryl was just under hurricane strength at landfall. Jacksonville, Florida reported a wind gust to 47 mph just after midnight local time, while the center of Beryl was just east of the city. Tropical storm force winds will continue to gradually overspread areas of northern Florida and southern Georgia this morning and into today as Beryl moves farther inland. Combined with periods of heavy rainfall, these winds will likely cause some power outages and tree damage. Doppler estimated rainfall totals indicate that a large swath of 1 - 4 inches of rain have fallen across central and northern Florida in advance of Beryl's center. Additional heavy rainfall is expected through Monday, and Beryl could produce rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches over central and northern Florida, into southern Georgia. The threat for isolated tornadoes continues, although no tornado watches have been issued by the Storm Prediction Center thus far, and no tornadoes have been reported. 0z upper air soundings from Jacksonville did not show a particularly favorable environment for tornadic development, although a couple cells here and there appear to occasionally rotate as per doppler radar imagery.
Figure 1. Latest infrared satellite image of Tropical Storm Beryl, courtesy of NOAA's Satellite Services Division (SSD).
Beryl should soon turn west-northwest and then northwest, as the ridge to the north erodes in advance of an approaching shortwave trough. This trough will ultimately force Beryl back out into the Atlantic in about two days. In the meantime, the storm's slow movement will linger a heavy rainfall threat, although serious flood potential will likely be mitigated by the ongoing drought in this region. Model guidance remains in excellent agreement on the future trajectory. Isobaric fields within the global and dynamical models suggest that Beryl should become extratropical on Friday. Before that though, reintensification as a tropical cyclone is expected as the system reenters the western Atlantic. Baroclinic deepening once the system loses tropical characteristics is also anticipated.
As a bit of trivia, Beryl is the earliest tropical storm landfall in the United States since Tropical Storm Arlene in 1959 struck the central coast of Louisiana on May 30.
5-day intensity forecast
INITIAL 0900Z 05/28 45 KT 50 MPH...INLAND
12 hour 1800Z 05/28 35 KT 40 MPH...INLAND
24 hour 0600Z 05/29 30 KT 35 MPH...INLAND
36 hour 1800Z 05/29 30 KT 35 MPH...INLAND
48 hour 0600Z 05/30 30 KT 35 MPH...INLAND
72 hour 0600Z 05/31 35 KT 40 MPH...OVER WATER
96 hour 0600Z 06/01 40 KT 45 MPH...EXTRATROPICAL
120 hour 0600Z 06/02 50 KT 60 MPH...EXTRATROPICAL
5-day track forecast
Figure 2. My 5-day forecast track for Beryl.
It should be noted that even as the center moves inland, bands of heavy rain containing tropical storm force winds will linger across coastal sections of northeast Florida and southern Georgia. This is typical of inland-moving systems, particularly ones that are slow-moving like Beryl. For this reason, the active tropical storm warnings will probably remain in place for awhile longer. Marine interests should not venture outside during such duress.
Watches and warnings
THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED NORTH OF THE
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* FLAGLER BEACH FLORIDA TO THE SAVANNAH RIVER GEORGIA
FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY
YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE.