Beryl intensifying

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:26 PM GMT on July 19, 2006

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Tropical Storm Beryl spent the night looking pretty ragged, but is starting to put on a burst of intensification. This morning's Hurricane Hunter aircraft just left the storm, and reported a central pressure of 1004 mb at 8am EDT, down 1 mb from the previous advisory. The plane found winds as high as 52 knots (60 mph) at 5,000 foot altitude, which corresponds to about 50 mph at the surface--a 5 mph increase from the 5am advisory. Satellite imagery shows a large blow-up of thunderstorms with very cold tops on the southwest side of Beryl. These cold tops mean the thunderstorms are reaching high levels of the atmosphere, and are therefore very intense.

If we examine the sea surface temperature plot for this morning (Figure 1), we see that Beryl has just started crossing the axis of the warmest waters of the Gulf Stream. These warm 27 - 28 C waters are probably responsible for the current burst of intensification. Beryl is moving north and should stay over these warmer waters until tonight, so we can expect continued intensification today. Once Beryl gets north of the Virginia/Maryland border, SSTs cool rapidly, and intensification should cease. Wind shear is currently 5 - 10 knots, which is low enough to allow intensification. Beryl will probably not spend enough time over these warm waters to make it to hurricane status, but New England may have a strong tropical storm with 60 mph winds on its doorstep Friday. Note, however, that the two primary intensity forecast models used by NHC--the GFDL and SHIPS--predict that Beryl will only be a weak tropical storm with 45 mph winds on Friday when it approaches New England.


Figure 1. 3D image of sea surface temperatures for July 19, 2006. Beryl is headed due north across the warmest waters of the Gulf Stream current today. Image credit: NOAA Environmental Modeling Center.

Beryl is expected to continue moving north today, then turn more to the northeast on Thursday as a trough of low pressure approaches from the west. Just how strong this trough is will determine how close Beryl passes to New England. Some of the forecast models are forecasting a strike on Long Island or Cape Cod Friday, but the official NHC forecast of a turn out to sea just south of New England sounds more reasonable, given that no July tropical storm --and only one July hurricane (1916)--has ever made landfall in New England.

Elsewhere in the tropics
The rest of the tropical Atlantic is quiet today. A large cloud of African dust has just pushed off the coast of Africa, which should keep things quiet over the eastern Atlantic the rest of the week. There are no indications that Beryl's formation presages the beginning of a more active period in the Atlantic. Wind shear is expected to remain seasonably high for the rest of July, and none of the computer models are hinting at any development over the next week.

There will not be a Hurricane Hunter aircraft in Beryl until 2pm EDT. I'll be back with an update around 4pm today when the aircraft has had time to sample the storm.

Jeff Masters

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267. 900MB
8:22 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
Wow, those last 2 frames have it stronger and it seems to have nudged to the West a little, increasing the odds of a Long Island/R.I/Cape Cod hit:
Link
I don't know how strong this will be in 24 hours, but I'd say the odds of landfall have gone up quite a bit in the past few hours.
Dr. Jeff- What do you think?
Member Since: June 11, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 684
266. whitewabit (Mod)
8:04 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
the front pushing off the coast will turn Beryl to the NNE
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 366 Comments: 32155
265. 900MB
8:04 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
Now that I have issued my own Watches and Warnings, I will watch intently to see if I have to go out to Long Island to get my deck furniture stashed and say a prayer.
Member Since: June 11, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 684
264. 900MB
8:01 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
I am personally issuing my own TROPICAL STORM WATCH for the North Fork of Long Island and a TROPICAL STORM WARNING for the South Fork of Long Island and Eastern Coastal Ct, Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard.......
The NHC should be more proactive, Long Island is completely unprepared and there is very little notice at this point.
Member Since: June 11, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 684
263. tbonehfx
8:00 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
Hello all. I can attest to the potential of fast moving hurricanes maintaining strength while moving over cool waters and into marginal upper level environs. I live in Halifax NS where Hurricane Juan came ashore just west of us in 2003 as a Cat2. Sustained windspeeds were 160kph (90kts) and a peak recorded gust was 234kph (125kts). SST's were in the vicinty of 20C and the hurricane had was caught in the jetstream and screamed through at about 75kph. Interestingly this forward (northward) speed enhanced the windfield on the eastern side of the storm and aided a storm surge of 1.5 to 2 metres into Halifax Harbour. It was a rough night to say the least... our mid-lat vegatation is not well designed for hurricanes LOL.
Member Since: October 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 38
262. BrianTheNoHBudda
7:58 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
I've just recently joined wu and need help with analysis.

Looking at the visible system in the central Gulf
(http://www.goes.noaa.gov/GIFS/GULFVS.JPG)

The SST is very warm (85F to possibly almost 90F?)
(http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/ofs/aofs_3d_images/aofs_sst_nowcast_hurr.png)

The windshear seems to be low
(http://www.wunderground.com/data/640x480/atlm_shear.gif)

Precipital water seems to be high in the area
(http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/GMEX/SSPW/20.jpg)

All of these seem to me to be conducive to TS formation.

However, looking at the sea-level pressure map, there seems to be an area of high pressure and what may be considered low "steering"? winds in the GOM right now?
(http://www.wunderground.com/data/640x480/huratl_slp.gif)

My questions are:
1) Of the probably one million variables in tropical weather system formation/intensification, are the above measurements/models reasonable to look at when evaluating the potential of a weather system?
2) Are there other reasons why this system is not forecast to significantly intensify other than the sea level pressure/1000mb winds?
3) I'm not sure how to read the 3-D SST graphic that Dr. Masters posted. It looks as if the entire GOM is a hot tub, however when I look at the nowcast of this same graphic but just of the GOM(see above) it seems to show significantly cooler SSTs than what would be indicated in the graphic in his post. Is there something I'm missing?

btw, I have been lurking on this site after the recomendation of a friend, and have found it to be extraordinarily educational and enlightening! Thanks!
261. thelmores
7:57 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
new blog!
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
260. Zaphod
7:53 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
How much closer to land can it go before interaction (a) weakens it or (b) helps pull it inland?

Looks like NY could be in for serious drenching if it doesn't curve and speed up soon.
Zap
Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 3239
259. tampabayfish
7:53 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
Hurricane Gloria went right over LI and up the CT River valley in 1985... I was in the eye, I think that's why I'm in this blog today. That and I live in a very unprepared Tampa Bay.
258. Cavin Rawlins
7:53 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
the 7th, which is the 81knots....is where the wind were.....
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
257. iyou
7:51 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
New blog up folks!
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5220
255. HENSCOLASC
7:51 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
The blob in the GOM is certainly interesting and bears watching. I'd say it's a KEO (Keep an Eye On). I'm not sure yet, I'm going to wait a bit and see if the convection can continue into the evening. If it persists, then it would be even more interesting. It's a little too early to tell yet. All of the ingredients are there, we'll have to wait and see what "cooks up".
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 146
254. Cavin Rawlins
7:50 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
Example:
URNT11 KNHC 161227
AF967 0212A LILI OB 08 KNHC
97779 12314 40169 82508 04000 22020 25218 /0007 42115;

Winds. The sixth group is the wind measured at the altitude of the airplane. The first two digits are the wind direction, to the nearest ten degrees. Wind direction is reported similar to compass headings, where 360 or 0 degrees is north. In the code, 09=east, 18=south, and 27=west. The next three digits is the wind speed in knots. Multiply by 1.152 to convert to miles per hour. In the above example, "22020" is a wind of 220 degrees (blowing out of the southwest) at 020 knots (23 mph).
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
253. 900MB
7:49 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
How that's some convection:
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/avn.jpg
BEST GUESSES ON 5 PM WIND SPEED? I'm Guessing 60MPH conservatively.
Member Since: June 11, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 684
252. Chicklit
7:48 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
So...do you guys have any idea what is going on in the Gulf of Mexico? Is that another harmless upper level disturbance?
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11410
251. Cavin Rawlins
7:48 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
Neva really witness a storm this close to LONG ISLAND...maybe Ophelia
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
250. Dan187
7:48 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
isnt wind the 6th group, not the 7th?
248. thelmores
7:46 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
should we issue at least a TS warning for long island????

this could turn nasty!!!!

at the present speed, long island is 24-36hrs away???
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
247. Cavin Rawlins
7:45 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
the 81 knots doesnt make sense the plane lattitude and longitude is over land yet the winds are still 81knots from 140 degrees bearing

000
URNT11 KNHC 191913
97779 19094 40372 75100 18300 04030 14081 /2553
40525
RMK AF309 0302A BERYL OB 12
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
246. Cavin Rawlins
7:43 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
there is no doubt about it Beryl is intensifying....it is not a 45mph storm anymore...

no more reports yet
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
245. thelmores
7:43 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
"81Knots at FL level"

holy bejesus!

if thats true, that extrapolates to at least 75mph on the surface!!!

Hurricane BERLE?????
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
244. thelmores
7:41 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
we better start getting a east component of motion soon... or else!
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
242. tampabayfish
7:40 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
What's 81 knots FL about 65 knots surface? I wouldn't be surprised with the latest convective burst, Beryl has gained some serious symmetry and appears to be experiencing zero shear...the strengthening wobble could be interesting.
241. IKE
7:39 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
One hit wonders ......
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
240. Cavin Rawlins
7:38 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
beryl having dinner

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
239. IKE
7:38 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
A flock of seagulls rotating in the gulf and developing...amazing!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
238. SWLAStormFanatic
7:37 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
Scotsman, maybe that "bloblet, blow up, flock of seaguls" in the GOM is the Hattiesburg low resurrected.
237. vortextrance
7:37 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
Maybe slightly west of north. If She sticks to forecast path a turn to the NNE should begin soon.
Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 700
235. fredwx
7:36 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
To NaplesPatty
It certainly might have been a Cat 3 - Here is a link from that same souce that is an interesting read about the 1635 storm.
Member Since: June 8, 2005 Posts: 221 Comments: 261
233. thelmores
7:34 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
dangit, dont know why, but i have geographic dyslexia! LOL

i see nnw motion for BERLE.... anybody?
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
232. tampabayfish
7:32 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
Ahh..the flock of seagulls is over water! And I ran so far away...
231. 900MB
7:31 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
Looks like Beryl is blowing up!
probably in the 60mph (55knot range) if not stronger. A few more hours like this and we will have a hurricane.
Member Since: June 11, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 684
230. Cavin Rawlins
7:31 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
I dont think anyone wud beleive but the lastest report measure 81Knots at FL level

000
URNT11 KNHC 191913
97779 19094 40372 75100 18300 04030 14081 /2553
40525
RMK AF309 0302A BERYL OB 12
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
229. sails1
7:29 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
On the last loop on the visible sat there is some spin to the thunderstorm complex just SE of South Florida! Does anyone see what I am seeing?
Member Since: May 26, 2003 Posts: 0 Comments: 72
227. thelmores
7:26 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
am i the only one seeing a nne current motion???? at this point the official forecast should show at least due north, if not a bit nne....

that last burst could put it near huricane strength....

could we have a huuricane hit long island????

Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
226. Cavin Rawlins
7:25 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
at 2:34pm EDT, max fl. level winds were 56knots...
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
225. NaplesPatty
7:23 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
Hurricane of 1635 may have been cat 3 and cape verde storm

Link
224. Cavin Rawlins
7:23 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
correct EDT to GMT
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
223. fredwx
7:22 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
To PensacolaJo

If you stand on the railroad track long enough you will get hit by a train!
Member Since: June 8, 2005 Posts: 221 Comments: 261
222. Cavin Rawlins
7:22 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
221. vortextrance
7:20 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
yes sir. Its much better to specutlate on systems that may form in the Gulf.
Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 700
220. PensacolaJo
7:19 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
then there was the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 which had the Pilgrims thinking that God was mad at them!

You would think that rationalizations such as these had changed. There are people in the Florida Panhandle who think that we were hit by Ivan in 2004 and Dennis in 2005 because it is a popular destination for the gay and lesbian communities on Memorial Day weekend. Some think that these storms were God's punishment...no joke!
219. lnielsen209
7:18 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
969
URNT12 KNHC 191915
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE
A. 19/18:34:20Z
B. 35 deg 57 min N
073 deg 29 min W
C. 850 mb 1447 m
D. 50 kt
E. 223 deg 025 nm
F. 311 deg 056 kt
G. 223 deg 026 nm
H. 1003 mb
I. 15 C/ 1524 m
J. 18 C/ 1526 m
K. 16 C/ NA
L. NA
M. NA
N. 12345/ 8
O. 0.03 / 2 nm
P. AF309 0302A BERYL OB 09
MAX FL WIND 56 KT SW QUAD 18:26:30 Z
SFC CNTR WITHIN 5NM OF FL CNTR
217. Cavin Rawlins
7:18 PM GMT on July 19, 2006
RECON is over land....they havent reach water yet and they havent start measuring pressure yet
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076

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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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