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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2165. pottery
What's the Storm name after Beryl, again ?
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Quoting Articuno:

You said Issac twice on both lists...

oh sorry I am so dunb sorry
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 14986
2163. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134826
Quoting kmanislander:


"Cyclone" ??

Hmmm...I was guessing "Chris"...but what do I know....
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2161. Patrap
Quoting kmanislander:


"Cyclone" ??


Im gonna go with that as per Gro's latest Imagery.

Is someone writing all this down?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134826
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2159. Patrap


ya, giving me da willies already.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134826
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I never said how many storms where going to have.
I just said that with all this storm develop people forgot that hurricane season is a few days away.

Sorry...mistook your earlier comment. I think u said something about how we stopped counting days ago. I thought you were talking about the number of storms...but I guess you were talking about the days left till hurricane season. Probably should eat a crow....
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Quoting pottery:

Looks like it's trying to form the letter "C"...

I wonder what it means ?


"Cyclone" ??
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2155. Patrap
Quoting pottery:

Looks like it's trying to form the letter "C"...

I wonder what it means ?



Cosmic Mayan Doom via The Tropic's?

I hope not.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134826
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2153. Grothar
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2152. pottery
Quoting Grothar:
I don't want to ignore Beryl or rush things, but I have been posting this area for two days and I see many others have been posting it as well. This site doesn't normally post a floater this early. Perhaps they are taking notice of it.


Looks like it's trying to form the letter "C"...

I wonder what it means ?
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Thankfully, somehow those neanderthals at the NHC managed to forecast one right:p .....Have their been any sustained winds on land reported beyond 55? Any ground level gusts at hurricane strength. I suspect we'll get a strong band here in the Fernandina Beach and St. Simons Island area. Let's hope we don't get damaging nado's, which are unpredictable.
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From the intracoastsl in palm valley, some strong gusts limbs down but no power outages. We'll see what the nights brings and see how high tide progresses (4:51 am here)
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Quoting pvbeachbum:
Just went for a walk around the neighborhood in the eye to check on things - all looks well other than some small branches down so far. Power still on here in my part of Ponte Vedra Beach, and my baby cocktail tree is hanging in there so far...


Glad your tree is okay. Our queens and sylvester have taken a beating tonight and are still okay. The chinese fan palms...well, we'll just have to wait until tomorrow to see.
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2148. Patrap
Itsa nosing in steadily, now..as the axis is almost west/east atm.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134826
Quoting NCHurricane2009:

Yeah..but a rebuttal for counting-up the total number of expected storms this year is found in post 2089. I think this is why the NHC is still expecting a near-normal year...because once the jet stream lifts north...and tropical waves become the dominant source for development...the tropical waves aren't going to go as trigger-happy and develop. Some reasons why the tropical waves might not go trigger-happy are found at the NHC's 2012 outlook....


the true tropical waves in 2005 didnt really go trigger happy either until they were close to home

Only 1 storm out of the record 28 was considered a cape very storm (Irene)
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2145. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
XXL/INV/XX
MARK
13.97N/80.93W



Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 192 Comments: 59626
2144. Patrap
Quoting Grothar:
I don't want to ignore Beryl or rush things, but I have been posting this area for two days and I see many others have been posting it as well. This site doesn't normally post a floater this early. Perhaps they are taking notice of it.



The Mayan Elders are snickering I betcha, just a Belly Laughing it up..at us.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134826
2143. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Don't we have to wait for the middle of that 50-some mile wide center to cross the coastline? I may be wrong though.


You are correct.
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Quoting charlottefl:





If thats the bridge I'm thinking of its enormous


The Mathews is one of the downtown bridges - sort of a rust colored steel structure. It's big, but not nearly as big as the Dames, which is a pretty impressive suspension bridge. I used to go over the Mathews every day to & from work. Hated it. Now I go over the Buckman. Hate it more.

Oh, the Mathews has been officially closed for several hours now.
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2141. Grothar
I don't want to ignore Beryl or rush things, but I have been posting this area for two days and I see many others have been posting it as well. This site doesn't normally post a floater this early. Perhaps they are taking notice of it.

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Good evening --- unusual for May --- I'm hoping this doesn't mean anything for the upcoming season. They do keep saying it should be quiet, but the accuracy rate for the early forecasting doesn't have a good track record.
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2139. Dsntslp
Quoting 10Speed:


Yup, it is and they've been getting all the rain we're wishing we'd have gotten here in Sebring ... but got none of that. In town they got about .22 inch this afternoon, from what I hear. Four miles south we didn't get squat today. Looks like they had the great flood over by Ft. Pierce.
Close to Saint Lucie West here and nothing but enough drizzle to make it messy when the dogs go out and come back in. Hear thunder in the background but that is all. Very still here.
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Just went for a walk around the neighborhood in the eye to check on things - all looks well other than some small branches down so far. Power still on here in my part of Ponte Vedra Beach, and my baby cocktail tree is hanging in there so far...
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
I would say landfall.
Don't we have to wait for the middle of that 50-some mile wide center to cross the coastline? I may be wrong though.
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I say landfall near Palm Valley.
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2135. Patrap
Quoting WeatherfanPR:



I think so too, at around 9:55 pm


KOTG's Bell tolled 10times at 10Pm EST.

Landfall, now Landfall..

They ask, no Quarter,..


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134826
Quoting Patrap:
..itsa, itsa, itsa..



itsa...itsa...itsa...a tropical storm!!!

Sorry guys...but she aint going to be a hurricane...but that its still a strong tropical storm. My preliminary thoughts are that dry air in the Gulf of Mexico once again entrained into her circulation as she neared the Gulf itself. That's why I think she looks more ragged and weaker on infrared satellite as she approaches the coast.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

He said it was a gust.
That's what I thought lol.

I don't watch TWC so I wouldn't know; my TV stays strictly on HBO. :)

Quoting NCHurricane2009:

Thanks for that post. So if that GFS 200 mb forecast verifies (which it likely will because all models are pretty good for large-scale patterns)...then there won't be upper voriticty off of the SE US for this Caribbean blob to help it when the blob moves northeast (like we saw with Beryl).

So now we have to focus on upper-ridging as a source to help this blob develop. So far...this blob's flare up has started to create favorable 200 mb height rises (i.e. upper ridging) overhead of itself...so not ready to discount this yet until how I see these 200 mb height rises evolve.
Indeed; could be interesting. The system will have to start working on at least some cyclonic curvature in the mid-levels before we start paying some attention to it. The upper-level pattern should begin to become rather favorable in about 72-96 hours, so we'll see how it fares then. Not much in the way of cyclogenesis on the models though.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:

Yeah..but a rebuttal for counting-up the total number of expected storms this year is found in post 2089. I think this is why the NHC is still expecting a near-normal year...because once the jet stream lifts north...and tropical waves become the dominant source for development...the tropical waves aren't going to go as trigger-happy and develop. Some reasons why the tropical waves might not go trigger-happy are found at the NHC's 2012 outlook....
I never said how many storms where going to have.
I just said that with all this storm develop people forgot that hurricane season is a few days away.
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2131. 10Speed
Quoting BahaHurican:
Is that St. Lucie county getting swalloped by that southern rainband?


Yup, it is and they've been getting all the rain we're wishing we'd have gotten here in Sebring ... but got none of that. In town they got about .22 inch this afternoon, from what I hear. Four miles south we didn't get squat today. Looks like they had the great flood over by Ft. Pierce.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
I would say landfall.



I think so too, at around 9:55 pm
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

He said it was a gust.


Even if it was a gust, it was probably sustained hurricane force at the time to be able to produce that. NHC will probably upgrade post season.
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2128. Patrap
Quoting flbeachgirl:
About 2,700 people without power right now over in the Arlington area (near downtown Jax on the south side of the river).


That up from 1100 earlier,..so thats about double and some.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134826
I would say landfall.
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2126. Patrap
As that center moves slowly inland and the CoC brings those winds around, the Sheer Aloft will increase and the Tornado threat will begin in ernest, if it happens.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134826
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
120 Hours | 18z GFS 200mb Heights:


Thanks for that post. So if that GFS 200 mb forecast verifies (which it likely will because all models are pretty good for large-scale patterns)...then there won't be upper voriticty off of the SE US for this Caribbean blob to help it when the blob moves northeast (like we saw with Beryl).

So now we have to focus on upper-ridging as a source to help this blob develop. So far...this blob's flare up has started to create favorable 200 mb height rises (i.e. upper ridging) overhead of itself...so not ready to discount this yet until how I see these 200 mb height rises evolve.
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Clearance below 46.3 meters (152 feet)
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About 2,700 people without power right now over in the Arlington area (near downtown Jax on the south side of the river).
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
According to some guy on Storm2K, Brian Norcross said (lol) that Mathews Bridge recorded winds of 87mph at a slightly elevated height.

I'm unaware of the validity of this report.

He said it was a gust.
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2121. Patrap
..."The winds of Thor are Howling more, mor, mo, mo"...


They choose a path where no one goes..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134826
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
I say we could get chris before this month end

anyway so I say if it becomes an active season
if not then no patty and oscar and nadine none in nov and 1 in oct and only 3 in sept
Active
May-Alberto, Beryl, Chris,
June-Debby, Ernesto,TD 6
July-Florence, Gordon, TD 9, Helene
August-Issac, Joyce, Kirk, Issac
september-Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael
October-Nadine, Oscar, TD 20
November-Patty

not
May-Alberto, Beryl, Chris,
June-Debby, Ernesto,TD 6
July-Florence, Gordon, TD 9, Helene
August-Issac, Joyce, Kirk, Issac
september-Joyce, Kirk, Leslie,
October-Michael
November---------

or something of the sort

You said Issac twice on both lists...
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
According to some guy on Storm2K, Brian Norcross said (lol) that Mathews Bridge recorded winds of 87mph at a slightly elevated height.

I'm unaware of the validity of this report.





If thats the bridge I'm thinking of its enormous
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Quoting GainesvilleGator:
Gainesville got a couple of rain bands today but it hasn't rained in close to two hours. The roads are pretty dry & there is very little wind.
Thanks for the report. My son's up there and I've advised him to hit the store and be prepared to stay in the next 24-48 hours, and watch for lightning and activate his NOAA radio for tornados. I think the biggest "impact" with this cyclone is going to be inland FL-GA around Gainesville up to Macon, plus the Georgia coast. And something of course near Target in Palm Coast.
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Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 16039
2116. Patrap
..itsa, itsa, itsa..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134826
According to some guy on Storm2K, Brian Norcross said (lol) that Mathews Bridge recorded winds of 87mph at a slightly elevated height.

I'm unaware of the validity of this report.
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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